Ronco Cutlery is essentially a 50-piece knife set that the manufacturers boast is top-quality and will never lose its edge. They call it a Six Star+ Giant Cutlery Set that they promise is triple riveted stainless steel and includes blades you’ll use everyday or for gourmet.
But is this knife set by Ronco Cutlery really an incredible value like they claim it is? Let’s slice through all the hype and take a closer look.
The Ronco Cutlery Pitch
Ronco Products is the brainchild of Ron Popeil, who created the company in 1964 to sell kitchen appliances. You’ve probably heard the name or about the Veg-O-Matic, an early hit. Even though the company is now owned by CD3 Holdings, Ron appears in this commercial, happily slicing and dicing up foods with the knife and promising you can do the same. CD3 and Ronco are hoping brand name recognition and Ron’s friendly demeanor will translate into you buying this knife set. To try and convince you how valuable it is, Ronco says these knives would cost $850 if sold separately.
How Ronco Cutlery Works
Ronco Cutlery appears to be selling model KN3008BLGEN, aka the Six Star+ 25-piece knife set. All of the knives are said to be perfectly balanced and made from hand finished high-carbon steel and black impact-resistant handles. They add they are triple-riveted for strength.
Each 25-piece knife set includes:
- 4 1/2-inch Showtime all-purpose knife
- 17 1/4-inch carving knife
- 15-inch large filet knife
- 13 1/4-inch bread and bagel knife
- 13 1/8-inch chef's knife
- 14 1/2-inch saw knife
- 12 3/4-inch boning knife
- 11 7/8-inch sportsman knife
- 9 1/4-inch chop 'n serve
- 11-inch cheese knife
- 11 7/8-inch cleaver
- 11 3/4-inch carving fork
- 9 3/8-inch utility knife
- 9 1/4-inch steak knives (8)
- 7 3/4-inch paring knife
- 7 3/4-inch garnish knife
- 8 1/4-inch poultry/kitchen shears
- knife sharpener
Ronco Cutlery Set Costs… HOW Much?
At least $83.39 for 50 knives. This is made more palatable by offering 3 payments of $13.33 or one payment of $39.99, plus shipping for the 25-piece set as described above. In the fine print, they reveal this charge to be $43.40, which also includes the “free” duplicate set of knives and a flavor injector. In addition, if you add the wood knife block they charge $29.95 plus an additional $14.95 in shipping for a possible grand total of $128.29 if you order everything (plus tax in certain states).
Ronco Cutlery offers a 30-day money back guarantee for their knives, which means they’ll refund the $39.99 plus tax you’ve spent but not any of the added fees. Plus, you pay to ship them back and since they’re stainless steel, it’s probably kind of heavy and will cost a lot.
Ronco Cutlery offers a lifetime warranty for any knife in the set, provided you send it back and pay a $3 fee per knife, capped at $21.70. They recommend sending the broken knife via certified mail.
Bottom Line: Is Ronco Cutlery a Scam?
Ronco Cutlery may indeed be a knife set that you can cut with, but:
- Overall customer ratings on consumer websites for Ronco Cutlery sets are not very positive. Many complain of poor quality knives that easily dull and/or won’t sharpen.
- The Consumer Affairs website contains many 1-star reviews citing unexpected credit card charges, long shipping times, poor customer service, and cheaply-made knives.
- The company does have an A+ from the BBB and are accredited by them. The BBB has reported 77 complaints in the last 3 years primarily due to product problems (as of Sept. 2014). These complaints have been satisfactorily resolved.
- The shipping costs are at least $43.40 that will not be refunded.
- True high-quality gourmet knives are made from high carbon steel, or high carbon stainless steel, which won’t tarnish. (Or ceramic, but those are quite delicate).
- Knives made only from stainless steel that claim to never need sharpening are often not very sharp and cannot be re-sharpened.
- For a basic rundown of how to buy a chef’s knife, read this WikiHow. Hint: it’s best to hold the knife/knives in your hand first and see how they feel.
- For a more nerdy in-depth definition of the differences between stainless steel, high carbon stainless steel, and high carbon steel knives read this.
- If these knives really are worth $850, would they really be pitching them to you for 40 bucks?
If you are still interested in Ronco Cutlery, let us suggest you consider purchasing them from a retailer that doesn’t make you buy 2 sets at once and perhaps charges less shipping.
Let us know what you think of Ronco Cutlery Six Star+ below!