The MAC MTH-80 8″ Chef’s Knife with Dimples is an excellent knife in all regards. It may not be my favorite knife, but it’s still an amazing kitchen tool. It’s an elegant Japanese-style chef’s knife and it’s wicked sharp. The dimples gave me pause at the beginning, and I’m still unsure whether or not they actually prevent food from sticking.
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MAC chef’s knife is in most ways a typical Japanese chef’s knife, though one of superior quality. The most obvious feature is the dimpled blade, which is designed to prevent food from sticking during slicing and chopping.
Also special to this knife is the weighted bolster. Someone using a pinching, chef-style grip on the knife will have the center of mass in the center of his or her hand, making the knife easier to control.
The MAC MTH-80 chef knife is made of high molybdenum and high tungsten steel. These two elements add to the knife’s hardness, allowing it to hold a sharper edge for longer.
The edge of the knife is ground at a very sharp angle, a sharper angle than most European-style knives. Additionally, the blade tapers in a straight line from the bolster to the tip, giving the blade the right profile to slide smoothly out of the cut.
Like many superior knives, the MAC chef knife has a PakkaWood handle held in place by rivets on the tang. It has a traditional European shape, a slight contour toward the middle of the handle, with a rounded butt.
Middleweight – This knife has a very slender profile and saves a lot of steel in the blade, making the blade light and elegant. The weighted bolster, however, adds to the weight of the knife. Therefore, I’ll dub it a “middleweight” knife, neither ultra-light nor hefty. It’s a good middle ground.
Razor Sharp – Due to the quality of the steel and the grind of the edge, the MAC MTH-80 chef knife will take and hold an edge. In fact, many chefs test the blade’s sharpness on their own hair (the arm seems pretty popular). It needs maintenance, but some knives aren’t even capable of such a wicked edge.
Dimpled Blade – This makes slicing, especially large items, easier as they don’t stick to the blade. It makes the cuts faster, smoother and cleaner. I found this a bit counter-intuitive at first as the dimples make the blade look “rougher,” but they do work.
Price – Compared to other knives of similar quality, the MAC is less expensive. There is strong brand recognition for it, but not the same passionate following as many other manufacturers get. This makes it an excellent choice for the discerning chef without an unlimited budget.
Too Light – For anyone liking the weight and sheer chopping power of a sturdy German blade, this isn’t the chef’s knife for you. It is lighter, which may throw off your normal cutting style. It’s also more delicate, so the knife isn’t ideal for heavy-duty chopping (like cutting through bone).
High Maintenance – High quality chef’s knives almost always require regular maintenance, and the MAC MTH-80 is not an exception. Most people using the knife find that it needs regular honing and sharpening to maintain its optimal sharpness, usually once a week.
Dimpled Blade – Yes, I know I also listed this in the PROs section. That’s because the dimpled blade isn’t ideal for all cutting jobs. Mincing small, sticky foods (such as garlic cloves) can be bothersome as the small bits get caught in the dimples. They also make scooping with the flat of the blade inconvenient when scooping up small bits.
The MAC MTH-80 8-inch chef’s knife is an amazing knife. It’s got great bang for its buck, but it needs to maintenance to keep up its high-quality performance. Though it’s not quite my style, I would certainly recommend this knife for anyone’s kitchen.