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Mercer Genesis Vs Renaissance Knives – What Are the Differences?

Not sure which one to pick between Mercer Genesis vs Renaissance knives?

A Mercer Genesis knife has a rounded handle made with synthetic rubber for more comfort. The Renaissance knives on the other hand use Delrin and a triple-riveted construction for superior resistance. Genesis knives have full bolsters, whereas Renaissance knives use recessed bolsters for easier sharpening. Sizes are also different, with the Renaissance being slightly larger than Genesis.

Other differences include prices, aesthetics, and handle weight, to name a few. Each of these factors may affect your cooking experience significantly.

The Key Features of Mercer Genesis Knife

  • Precision-forged construction
  • High-carbon German steel
  • Taper-ground edge
  • Full tang 
  • Curved handle made with Santoprene material
  • Full bolster
  • Traditional handle spine

The Key Features of Mercer Renaissance Knife

  • Precision-forged construction
  • High-carbon German steel
  • Taper-ground edge
  • Full tang 
  • Rectangle triple-riveted handle made with Delrin material
  • Recessed bolster
  • Rounded handle spine

Mercer Genesis Vs Mercer Renaissance Knives: A Quick Summary

SubjectMercer GenesisMercer Renaissance
Blade Size (Chef’s Knife)From 6 inches (152.4mm) to 10 inches (254mm)From 8 inches (203.2mm) to 10 inches (254mm)
Overall Length (Chef’s Knife)Up to 14.5 inches (368.3mm).Up to 15 inches (381mm).
Handle DesignCurved, made with SantopreneRectangle, Triple-Riveted, made with Delrin
Handle SpineStandardRound Spine
BolsterFullShort
Handle WeightHeavierLighter
Grip PowerHigherLower
AestheticsDecentProfessional-Like
PriceLowerHigher

Key Differences Between Mercer Genesis and Renaissance

The biggest differences between Mercer Genesis vs Mercer Renaissance are the handle, bolster, grip power, and price. Overall length and blade sizes are also differentiating factors, but only slightly. Find out more about how those differences can affect your experience using each of these knives in this comprehensive Mercer knives review.

Blade Size

The blade size of Genesis chef knives is between 6 inches and 10 inches, offering one size more than Renaissance. A 6-inch knife is shorter and lighter, making it easier to control. You can use it for mincing garlic, chopping ginger, and cutting down small chickens. Other Genesis chef knives available are 8-inch, 9-inch, and 10-inch. 

List of Genesis knives with sizes:

Knife TypeSizes Available
Chef’s Knife6”, 8”, 9” & 10”
Carving Knife10”, 8”
Granton Edge Carving Knife10”
Granton Edge Chef’s Knife8”
Wavy Edge Bread Knife8”
Granton Edge Santoku7”
Granton Edge Nakiri7”
Nakiri7”
Flexible Fillet Knife7”
Stiff Boning Knife6”
Flexible Boning Knife6”
Utility Knife5”
Paring Knife3-1/2”
Peeling Knife3”

The blade size of Renaissance chef knives is between 8 inches and 10 inches. Compared to Genesis, the Renaissance line doesn’t offer a 6-inch chef knife. For the most part, all of the other knives are similar in size.

List of Renaissance knives with sizes.

Knife TypeSizes Available
Chef’s Knife8”, 9” & 10” (No 6” available)
Granton Edge Chef’s Knife8”
Granton Edge Santoku7”
Nakiri7”
Carving Knife10”
Granton Edge Slicer 11”
Wavy Edge Slicer 11”
Wavy Edge Bread Knife8” & 9”
Fillet Knife7”
Stiff Boning Knife6”
Flexible Boning Knife6”
Wavy Edge Tomato Knife5”
Utility Knife5”
Paring Knife3-1/2”
Peeling Knife2-1/2

Overall Length

The overall length of Genesis chef knives is up to 14.5 inches (368.3mm). A large Genesis knife like the M20610 has a 10-inch blade and a 4.5-inch handle length for a total size of 14.5 inches (368.3mm). This size is a bit smaller than the Renaissance 10-inch chef knife. An advantage to smaller knives is that they’re suitable for small and large spaces. If you cook in a small kitchen, you won’t bump into other things while cutting.

The overall length of Renaissance chef knives is up to 15 inches (381mm). One of the largest Renaissance knives is the M23530, which has a 10-inch blade and a 5-inch handle. When compared to the Genesis knife, you can see that the handle length is the only difference. If you go for a large knife, make sure to have the space necessary to make cuts with the entire cutting edge.

Knife Handle Shape

Mercer Genesis knives have a curved handle made with synthetic Santoprene material for a softer and secure grip. The curved shape of Mercer handles gives you a non-slip hold with minimal exposure to use the knife for many hours straight. Maximum comfort makes the Mercer Genesis line perfect for amateur home cooks and entry-level culinary students. 

My Mercer Genesis knives are the most comfortable knife I’ve ever owned. Durable, reliable, and easy on my hands after long days in the kitchen. I wouldn’t use anything else.

Executive and certified master chef Sean Andrade.

Mercer Renaissance knives have an ergonomic rectangle-like handle made with Delrin hard plastic material that lasts longer. A Renaissance knife has a triple-riveted handle that makes the scales and tang airtight and without gaps. It’s more resistant to water and corrosion. The ergonomic design makes Renaissance handles comfortable to hold because they don’t have sharp corners. Higher resistance and comfort make the Mercer Renaissance excellent kitchen knives for home chefs and professionals.

Handle Spine

The spine on a Genesis handle is standard. Genesis handles accommodate your hand well, but they don’t have the comfy and good-looking round spine that Renaissance handles offer.

Renaissance handles have a rounded spine that feels comfortable in the inner part of the palm. The round spine is a minor difference between both knife handles, but experienced cooks will notice it quickly.

The Knife Bolster

Mercer Genesis knives mostly have traditional full bolsters, which extend towards the heel of the blade. As a result, your fingers remain safe when you force the knife through the food. Use it for point-first cuts or piercing through ingredients, like winter squashing or breaking down meat. Full bolsters are also suitable for boning or filleting fish because your hands will get slimy, but the fingers are at a safe distance from the edge.

Keep in mind: Some Mercer Genesis knives have two bolster variations: full and short. However, the most prominent style is the full bolster.

Mercer Renaissance knives only have recessed bolsters, making it easier to sharpen the full length of the blade. If you sharpen your knives often, like in a restaurant, you can make single passes with a sharpening stone without concerns about hitting the bolster. A ground recessed bolster also allows you to use the full length of the cutting edge to chop ingredients faster.

Weight of the Handle

Genesis’s handle is somewhat heavy, and it feels more balanced for cutting through hard ingredients. The Genesis handle feels sturdy enough to cut squash and potatoes with more ease. A downside to heavy handles is that using more strength than necessary will mess up softer ingredients like tomatoes.

Another disadvantage of heavier handles is that home cooks on the smaller side may struggle with them. The handles can feel tiring over just a couple of hours of using them.

Renaissance’s handle is lighter and suitable for most cutting tasks, including rock chopping. A lighter handle reduces fatigue for longer use and provides better control. Short and tall professionals can use lightweight handle knives to cut almost any ingredient, whether hard pumpkins or soft fruits.

Grip Capability

Genesis offers a better grip because it’s non-slip. The Santoprene material in the handle scales makes them comfortable and non-slippery if the handle is wet. You can grab a Genesis knife using different grip styles like the Pointed-Finger Grip, Hammer Grip, and the Pinch Grip. 

The Renaissance handle is a bit slippery, and you must hold the knife in a Pinch Grip for a natural feel and optimal control. Knowing how to grab the knife handle is essential if you’re cutting food like fish that can make the handle feel slimy.

Aesthetics

Genesis knives look decently, featuring a traditional handle and a sleek design. The design of Genesis knives makes them ideal for beginners and amateur environments, like home kitchens and culinary lessons.

A Renaissance knife is more professional, sporting a beautiful triple-riveted handle. This knife is perfect for all types of scenarios, whether it’s for home use or professional kitchens.

Price

The price of Genesis chef’s knives is between $28.27 and $47.08. A 6-inch (M20606) Genesis Chef’s knife is $28.27, the 8-inch (M20608) is $31.32, the 9-inch (M20609) is $36.47, and the 10-inch (M20610) is $37. Genesis Chef’s knives are the most affordable option for a few dollars. You won’t notice the difference if you buy one knife, but you’ll save a considerable amount of money buying a complete set.

The price of Renaissance knives is between $38.62 and $42.43. An 8-inch (M23510) chef’s knife is $38.62, the 9-inch (M23520) is $41.79, and the 10-inch (M23530) is $42.43. Renaissance knives are slightly more expensive.

Where Are Mercer Knives Made?

Mercer knives are made in Taiwan. These knives get mass-produced to keep the costs down, which may give the impression that they come from China. However, that’s not the case.

Who Makes Mercer Knives?

Mercer Culinary makes the Mercer knives. The brand has been in the market for years, amassing a vast collection of knives throughout. Currently, you can find many types of Mercer knives, including Chef’s knives, Santoku, carving knives, fillet knives, boning knives, and more.

What Steel Does Mercer Use?

Mercer knives use German and Japanese steel. Both Genesis and Renaissance use forged X50CrMoV15 German Steel, which consists of carbon, molybdenum, manganese, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, vanadium, and chromium. For the price, the X50CrMoV15 is one of the most affordable and reliable steel types. It’s strong, hard, and resistant to corrosion and wear. 

On the other hand, you’ll find Japanese high carbon stainless steel in the Millennia, Praxis, and MX3 Series. 

Are Mercer Knives Forged or Stamped?

The Mercer Genesis and Renaissance knives are precision-forged, whereas the Millennia and Praxis lines have stamped steel. Mercer Cutlery offers both styles depending on the knife lines.

Are Mercer Knives Dishwashers Safe?

Mercer Culinary knives are not dishwasher safe. The dishwasher produces intense heat and temperature changes that could cause many problems. The handle may deteriorate, the edge will get dull from rubbing against other items, and the soap stains and damages the blade.

Wash Mercer knives by hand using warm water and soap with mild or medium strength. Rinse after washing, and use a soft towel to dry them.

Are Mercer Genesis Knives Full Tang?

The Mercer Genesis knives have a full tang running the entire handle length. This design provides superior balance, making the Genesis knives easily-controllable cutlery produced by Mercer Culinary.

Genesis or Renaissance – Which One Should You Buy?

Choose the Mercer Genesis if you want a complete set of knives but don’t want to spend much money. The Genesis knives are more affordable, and their quality is good. The synthetic rubber handle is comfortable, the high-carbon German steel is durable, and the size variety guarantees a knife for any task. Entry-level home cooks and culinary students will get a lot from the Genesis line of knives.

The Mercer Renaissance knives are a bit more expensive, but they are superior to the Genesis line. Go with a Renaissance set if you want professional-like knives with a triple-riveted handle for more resistance and durability. Renaissance knives with recessed bolsters are easier to sharpen, which is perfect for chefs that need to get a sharp edge in a few seconds.

Ultimately, you could try both to finally choose which is the best Mercer culinary knives line between Mercer Genesis vs Renaissance knives.

About Brian M. Casey

As a food lover, Brian M. Casey developed a fascination for cooking at an early age. He soon realized that not only the ingredients matter but also the knives and the accessories used to turn those ingredients into a delicious dish. This way, Brian began his journey on the magnificent world of kitchen knives, outdoor knives, knife accessories, and much more. After years of experience with many ups and downs, Brian now wants to share everything he’s learned during his journey as an avid knife collector, a well-seasoned knife maker, and an all-around knives enthusiast.

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