Mercer Knives Review

Mercer Knives Review:  The Best Cheap Kitchen Knives

By Bobby B.  | July 26, 2020  | Knife Brands

Mercer Culinary makes some great looking inexpensive knives, and prior to writing this Mercer knives review, we were recently asked… Does Mercer make the best cheap kitchen knives?  That’s a great question, and we’ll set out to answer just that on this page.  First, we need some background on the company and their knives.  

Mercer Culinary manufactures kitchen tools for home chefs including barware, BBQ kits, utensil storage, and knife sharpeners.  But, their main focus and the topic of our discussion today is their professional quality knives and super-low prices!  It’s unbelievable the shear amount of kitchen knives that Mercer Cutlery sells on Amazon.  Many of the Mercer knife sets and individual knives literally have thousands of 5-star reviews

Are they all cheap knives?  No, some are actually quite good knives.  However, when compared to other knives in each category (cheap, mid-range, and high-end), they all seem to be offered at a discount when compared to their competition.  This is a great thing for consumers and more specifically, buyers of the Mercer Culinary knives shown below.

Mercer Culinary:  The Knives

Probably the most asked question we get about Mercer knives is where they are made.  Based on the price of their knives, you might be surprised to find out that Mercer knives are made in Taiwan, not China.  Mercer Culinary has several lineups of knives, some professional-grade and others that are super cheap knives.  We’re going to discuss the six most popular series here.

Mercer Culinary Renaissance Series Chef Knife


Mercer Culinary’s Renaissance Series knives are certainly one of the most popular in their lineup.  These knives use a common German steel (X50CrMoV15) used on higher-end knives.  Mercer Renaissance knives are forged, full-tang, and triple-riveted for strength.  They are very nice Western-style knives with a shortened bolster for a great price!  It checks all the boxes when thinking about the criteria BladeAdvisor wants to see in a good, high-quality knife.  There really isn’t anything missing, except for perhaps a big brand name.

>> Shop Mercer Renaissance Knives at Amazon <<

Mercer Culinary Genesis Series Chef Knife


In our opinion, the Genesis Series is Mercer Culinary’s best!  And, I think most consumers agree as it’s clearly popular based on customer reviews online.  For what you’re getting, it’s really hard to believe the price is so low!  Genesis knife blades are made with X50CrMoV15, a top German steel.  They’re precision forged and have a full bolster, which is great for balance and handling.  These knives very very substantial in your hands.  The handles are unique and are made from Santoprene, offering a good, non-slip grip.

>> Shop Mercer Genesis Knives at Amazon <<

Mercer Culinary MX3 Series Chef Knife

MX3 Series

The MX3 Series knives from Mercer is a specialty series made up exclusively of Japanese-inspired knives.  The MX3 knives use VG-10 Japanese super steel and are precision forged with a full-tang and black Delrin handle.  The blades on this knife are made with the same steel as you would expect to see in my of the really high-end Japanese knives.  There is nothing “cheap” about this knife, yet the price is roughly 30-50% lower than many similar knives made by Mercer’s competitors.

>> Shop Mercer MX3 Knives at Amazon <<

Mercer Culinary Zum Series Chef Knife

ZuM Series

Mercer Culinary’s ZuM Series knives have a cool handle shape that makes it unique when compared to the rest of the lineup.  These knives are forged with high-carbon German stainless steel blades and a full tang that extends throughout the length of the Delrin handle.  Much like the more popular Renaissance Series, ZuM knives have a shortened bolster for balance and easier sharpening and honing of the blade.  The ZuM knife has been tested and approved by NSF, a global health management solution.

>> Shop Mercer ZuM Knives at Amazon <<

Mercer Culinary Millennia Series Chef Knife


Mercer’s Millennia Series knives are super low-cost knives to buy.  The quality isn’t what the knives listed above are, but they’re not junk either.  The Millennia Series is a perfect example of “starter” knives.  They’re stamped (not forged) blades, made out of an inexpensive Japanese steel (X30Cr13).  The handles are made from polypropylene, and they come in several different color options.  Note, these are NOT full tang knives (3/4 tang).  If  you’re not looking to spend lots of money, perhaps these are the best cheap kitchen knives for you.

>> Shop Mercer Millennia Knives at Amazon <<

Mercer Culinary Praxis Series Chef Knife


The Praxis Series knives by Mercer Culinary is another specialty-type knife offering.  They are all made with a natural, triple-riveted rosewood handle, just like the old-school knives I remember my grandmother having back in the day.  Other than the handle material, these are basically the same knives, or at least blades, as the more popular Millennia Series offering.  They use the same stamped X30Cr13 Japanese steel.  Unless you really like the rosewood handles, these offer the least value to consumer of any of the Mercer knives.

>> Shop Mercer Praxis Knives at Amazon <<

Which is the Best Mercer Knife?

So, you’re probably wondering to yourself which you should buy, right?  Well, as we mentioned above, BladeAdvisor’s favorite Mercer Culinary knife series is the Genesis.  It has all the features we expect in a good knife:  good steel, forged, full-tang, full bolster, great balance, and durable materials.  The amount of value you’re getting in these knives when you compare to other, big name brands, is amazing!  You can’t beat it.

If you’re looking to just buy the cheapest knives you can, yet don’t want to get junky Wally-World specials for $2, we recommend looking at the Millennia.  Thousands of people swear by them in online reviews, and who could complain about paying just a few bucks for a kitchen knife made with Japanese steel and not manufactured in China?

Mercer Culinary Logo

The Best Mercer Culinary Knife Set

If you need more than just a “filler” knife in your kitchen, you should consider looking into a kitchen knife set.  And, if you’ve decided you like the brand, Mercer Culinary has tons for knife sets available for sale.  Of course like any other knife brand, they’re offered with different knife selections, different amounts of knives, and even different holders such as wood blocks, glass blocks, and even knife rolls or carrying cases.

As mentioned above, there were many knife sets to choose from, but we’ve just selected a few of our favorites and the most popular sets to review below.  

Mercer Culinary Genesis Glass Knife Block Set Review

Knives Included:

8” Chef Knife, 8” Bread Knife, 6″ Boning Knife, 5″ Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife

Blade Material:

Forged from German Steel (X50CrMoV15)

Block Material:

Tempered Glass Block

Mercer Genesis Knife Set Review:

Put a handful of awesome, inexpensive knives together and what do you get?  A pretty cool-looking kitchen knife set that doesn’t break the bank.  As we mentioned above, the Genesis Series knives from Mercer Culinary are our favorite because of all the “professional” features they include: forged, full tang, full bolster, good German steel, etc.  Mercer’s knife sets are unique and don’t look like every other wood block knife set available.   (Note: this set is also available in the Renaissance Series if you prefer the look of them better).
Mercer Renaissance Wood Knife Block Set with Glass

Knives Included:

8” Chef Knife, 8” Bread Knife, 6″ Boning Knife, 5″ Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife

Blade Material:

Forged from German Steel (X50CrMoV15)

Block Material:

Wood & Glass 

Mercer Culinary Renaissance Series Knife Set Review

Again, not like anything else for sale.  Mercer makes cool and unique knife blocks that are different than all other knife brands, and we admire that because it really makes them stand out from the crowd.  This set includes the same 5 knives as the one above, but in the Renaissance Series rather than the Genesis Series.  They’re very similar, but have a couple minor differences that really are about personal preference.  The 2 main differences are the handles and bolster.  The Renaissance knives have a classic style triple-riveted handle and just a partial bolster that makes them light weight.  The Genesis knives have a more contemporary handle design, but have the more traditional full bolster for balance and added weight.  (Note:  This set is also available in the Genesis Series if you prefer them to the Renaissance knives). 

Mercer Zum 6-pc Magnetic Knife Board Review

Knives Included:

8” Chef Knife, 8” Bread Knife, 6″ Boning Knife, 5″ Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife

Blade Material:

Forged from German Steel (X50CrMoV15)

Block Material:

Acacia Wood & Stainless Steel

Mercer Culinary ZuM Magnetic Knife Block Review:

It should almost come as no surprise by now that Mercer Culinary just doesn’t make standard, plain-Jane knife blocks and sets.  They are all cool and unique to Mercer and will grab the attention of all your kitchen guests.  This time the knife set being reviewed is of the ZuM Series knives.  Again, same great German steel blades, awesome modern handles made of Delrin, and just a partial bolster for those home chefs that like lighter weight knives.  This is a very cool way to present knives in your kitchen and the Acacia wood is just beautiful!

Mercer Millennia 8-pc knife roll traveling set

Knives Included:

Chef Knife, Offset Bread Knife, Boning Knife, Granton Edge Santoku, Granton Edge Slicer, Paring Knife, Sharpening Steel

Blade Material:

Stamped Japanese Steel (X30Cr13)

Block Material:

Polyester Knife Roll

Mercer Culinary Millenia Knife Roll Review:

The perfect set for the traveling chef who needs their knives wherever they go.  It also works great if you want to store your knives somewhere other than on the countertop, such as if counter space is limited in you rkitchen.  This Millenia Series set includes a total of 7 knves and rolls up for easy storage and portability.  Tons of knives for one great price, just keep in mind that these are Mercer’s lower-end knives.  Great prices, but you’re getting the quality you’re paying for with them.

Mercer Culinary Steak Knives

Mercer doesn’t actually have many steak knife options unfortunately.  However, if you like the Genesis Series knives like we do, you’re in luck!  You can buy steak knives individually or in a 6-pc set with a knife roll.  Unless you really need the knife roll, we much prefer buying them individually because if gives you the opportunity to buy exactly how many knives you need.  That’s pretty rare.  Usually, most manufactures make you pick a 4-pc or 8-pc set. 

Mercer makes both serrated and non-serrated Genesis steak knives.  Straight-edge steak knives tend to cut meat more cleaning.  Whereas serrated knives can rip the meat at times.  However, serrated knives don’t need honed or sharped near as often to keep the blades sharp since 90% of the blade edge never touches the cutting surface (plate/cutting board). 

If you’re going to hone them, grab straight-edge knives.  If not, go serrated to keep them nice and sharp!


Mercer Culinary Steak Knife Set Review

Mercer Genesis vs Renaissance

The Mercer Genesis and Mercer Renaissance series knives are so similar to one another.  Sometimes they’re confused with one another, and more often, consumers just don’t know which one to buy.  Admittedly, it is a difficult decision between the two.  To help you differentiate between the two a bit. let’s compare and contrast these two knife lines in a bit more detail.


When comparing Mercer Genesis vs Renaissance, much of the knife is actually the same.  Both knives use the same size and shape blade.  More importantly, both the Genesis and Renaissance knives are made with the same German steel blades, X50CrMoV15.  Of course, both knives are forged are are made with similar quality to one another.  


Where the Genesis and Renaissance knives from Mercer differ is from the bolster on back.  The Genesis uses a full bolster that provides additional weight to the knife, making it seem more heavy duty.  It also has a softer feel to the handle due to the Santoprene non-slip handle.  On the other hand, the Renaissance series only has a half bolster, making the knife lighter weight and easier for those with small hands to handle for longer periods of time.  The half bolster also makes sharpening the knife much easier since the bolster doesn’t get in the way. 


Deciding which is better in the Mercer Renaissance vs Genesis debate is difficult and really comes down to a personal preference.  If it matters to you, the Genesis series knives are a couple bucks cheaper, but both are very affordable options.  If you like a heavier knife that does more of the work for you, we’d recommend the Genesis series.  If you use the knife for hours at a time or prefer a knife that is lighter and allows for more finesse, the Renaissance series knives are probably a better fit for you.

Mercer Knives Review Conclusion

Mercer Culinary is not a big, well-known name brand, and they haven’t been making knives for hundreds of years like many of the top kitchen knife brands.  But, when it comes to making knives with the right materials and the right manufacturing processes, they do a great job! 

The only difference is rather than making them in Germany or Japan, the knives are made in Taiwan.  And rather than making them by hand, they’re mass produced in order to keep costs down, and that’s totally fine by the thousands of customers who love to buy their knives day in and day out. 

If you want good knives at a great price, Mercer Culinary is a good fit.  They have some of the best cheap knives we’ve seen available and there’s tons of social proof that their customers love their knives.  Just check any of the online reviews from past customers!

Mercer Knife FAQs

Where are Mercer Knives Made?

Mercer Culinary knives are made in Taiwan, and their blades are made with steel that originates in either Germany or Japan, depending on the series (see above for more details).  Although many default to thinking they must be made in China, they are actually not.  

Are Mercer Knives Dishwasher Safe?

Like most knife manufacturers, Mercer Culinary recommends that you DO NOT was their knives in the dishwasher.  They go on to say that best practices include washing them by hand in warm water and never allowing them to soak for long periods of time.

What Kind of Warranty Does Mercer Culinary Offer?

Mercer knives carry a limited lifetime warranty that guarantees the product against defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and conditions.

How Should I Sharpen My Mercer Knives?

Mercer Culinary has provided this document to assist consumers in understanding the best way to handle sharpening their Mercer knives.