We were given a full Chatwin Crucial Knife Set to use and test out. I used the various knives for most of my cooking for about a month.
The short answer is that The Chatwin Crucial Knife Set is a uniquely designed, very cool looking set of knives. The knives are on the lighter side, comfortable to use, cut very easily, and seem to hold their edges. There were a few minor issues I had, so with the higher price it kept them from being a "Top Pick" but they are definitely a "Recommended" knife of ours.
Below are my detailed thoughts on them.
The first impressions of the knives were very good. They come in a really professional looking case that turns into it's own knife holder. It was a little hard to get the knives out of the original packaging but the online video helped with that.
I was surprised at how light the Chatwin Crucial felt, especially since I've recently been using a knife on the heavier side (the Kan Core). This made me initially worried the Chatwin wouldn't cut as well but I was pleasantly amazed at its ease of cutting. I still prefer heavier knives, but if you like lighter blades this fits the bill while still being very good at cutting.
The look of the knives is very unique and cool. They have a dark, "rosewood" handle that looks amazing next to the steel of the blade. The handle was very comfortable to use, it fits in the hand nicely and didn't lead to any extra tiredness when I was using if for long periods. Also, despite having a thin and light blade, the spine of the knife was nicely rounded and didn't cause any extra callousing.
The tang also is exposed at the back of the knife, giving it a lot of character. The design of the chef knife is also very interesting, with a notch cut along the back of the blade that gives it a curved, flowing appearance.
While I loved the look of these design choices, functionally they didn't always work as well. Having the tang exposed made the handle a little "sharper" and slightly less comfortable in my hand. This was mainly when I was handling it though (cleaning, positioning, etc.), once my hand was in cutting position it wasn't a factor. If you have larger hands it might still be an issue.
While the notch looks real cool, I did start to get a callous on the back of my middle finger where it rubbed in the notch. I would also get stuck in the notch occasionally when handling it, but during cutting it was fine. Again, this isn't a big deal, but it is something to keep in mind.
As I mentioned, the knives are lighter than many but they cut really good. I used them on a range of foods from raw and cooked steak, chicken, and pork to many types of fruits and vegetables.
All the knives worked well and fit great in my hand. The thinner blades also allowed a little flexing when cutting around seeds, bones, and pits.
My only concern with the thinner blades is that you have to be careful with them since they can snap. I was preparing an avocado for lunch and the filet knife was on the counter. I grabbed it, even though I know it's the "wrong" knife for that situation but it was the closet knife to me. When I was prying out the seed (it wasn't as ripe as I hoped) the tip of the knife snapped off. Again, I know this isn't the proper use of the knife, so I don't hold it against them, but keeping the side-to-side tension as low as possible is something to keep in mind.
The knives come with their own knife holder, a magnetized V holder they go in. It looks really cool and seemed to work well. I didn't use it too much since I have limited counter space and multiple knife holders already, but if you are looking to show off your knives it would be a definite plus.
All in all I really liked the Chatwin Crucial Knife set and I would recommend it to people that prefer lighter knifes, or are looking for a unique knife design. The holder is really classy too if you want to show them off.
I personally will probably stick to my old chef's knife, but I will definitely rotate the Chatwin in when I'm cooking for longer periods of time and need a slight change of pressure for my hand.
The paring knife is now my go-to paring knife, supplanting my old one.
The filet knife worked great when I was using it properly. Though as I mentioned it broke when I used it on an avocado. Otherwise it probably would've been my go-to filet knife.