I tried a knife subscription service—is it worth it?
Say goodbye to dull knives.
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Dull knives are not only less efficient, they’re also more dangerous than sharp knives—I lost count of how many times I’ve accidentally injured myself while rocking a dull knife back and forth to cut through a sweet potato. The memories are painful, as are the wounds, which is why keeping sharpened knives on hand has been a top priority of mine.
Granted, there are sharpening stones and electric knife sharpeners that could help me accomplish my goal, but the risk of incorrect sharpening has made at-home sharpening too intimidating to pursue. That’s where Togu Knives—a knife subscription service that delivers a freshly-honed set of knives every eight weeks—comes into play.
What is Togu Knives?
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Togu is a subscription-based service that sends you sharp knives every eight weeks in exchange for your dulled Togu knives. Togu’s European style knives are made in Japan with high quality materials and Japanese craftsmanship.
Once you return a dull set of knives, the knife experts at Togu will sharpen and polish every used knife by hand on a series of ceramic whetstones.
How does it work?
One subscription includes two knives: a Santouku that’s basically a chef’s knife and a Parer knife (or paring knife) that can be used for peeling vegetables and removing seeds. To sign up, you’ll need to choose your subscription, which is $6 per week. Keep in mind that the subscription is automatically renewed every month while you receive the knives every eight weeks, so you’d be billed twice for every set of knives you receive in the mail.
After signing up, they’ll send you a confirmation email. I received my knives within a day or two (I live in Somerville, Massachusetts) but shipping to other states may take a little longer. Tightly packed in a small box, the sharp knives are secure and stable upon delivery. I also like how there’s almost no plastic or wasteful wrinkle paper being used in packaging. The only plastic is the tip cover, which is necessary to ensure safety.
To return, place the cleaned and dried knives with the tip cover into the box provided. Make sure the edges of the knives are firmly positioned in the small gaps so they don’t move around. Then, seal the box with tape and put the return label on. Drop the box in a USPS mailbox or request a free pickup.
How do Togu Knives perform?
I used the two knives (mainly the santoku) for two months to see how well they perform. The knives were razor sharp when they arrived, letting me cut through vegetables and meat with ease. The paring knife is of the right size so I can accurately debone a small fish without angling the blade. Though they replace the knives every two months, I didn't feel that mine needed to be sharpened—they were probably good for another month or two before they needed any attention!
Can you send Togu Knives subscription as a gift?
Yes! You can purchase a gift subscription for home cooks who would appreciate this service. You’ll need to provide Togu Knives with an email address for your giftee so they’ll receive a code to purchase the subscription without being charged to their credit cards. Currently, two subscription lengths are available: six month ($144) and one year ($288), which breaks down to $6 per week with shipping and return labels included.
Are Togu knives worth it?
If you’re a home chef who spends a lot of time chopping ingredients, you may benefit from a knife subscription service that delivers freshly sharpened knives once every eight weeks. These well-made knives are high quality to begin with, and they come with knife sharpening service that takes the hard work of maintaining a knife out of the equation.
Or, if you know someone who complains about their knives being dull, Togu may be the perfect holiday gift that’ll make their lives easier.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.