Knife shopping at Williams Sonoma vs. Sur La Table

Since we both took Friday off and were out and about in Queens and at Costco, Chris felt very unmotivated to go out anywhere on Saturday. So I ended up spending some time on Saturday afternoon doing some of my own errands, from dropping off clothing donations, getting my sunglasses repaired, to stopping by Sur La Table to see if they had the Global knives I wanted to test out. The experience I had asking about knives, the craftsmanship, and the feel/grip was like night and day from the experience I had at Williams Sonoma.

Williams Sonoma is basically like the bullshit big-box “luxury” store that rarely has sales, and its sales people really know little to nothing about their products, so they are basically useless to you when you have real cooking questions. And when you walk in and they ask if you need help, they don’t really have any real knowledge in the items they sell to truly help you; they just pretend to “help” you by asking the most basic questions in the world that a five-year-old might ask you. I asked to test out a couple of their Global knives, and they had me try out one knife. They asked no questions in regards to what I was looking for and what I might need. It was a no-frills experience and the person who “helped” me really did absolutely nothing other than open a locked cabinet for me.

At Sur La Table, the assistant helping me asked me what I was looking for, other brands/requirements/thoughts I had on what might interest me most, and gave multiple suggestions not just for other brands and Global lines to consider, but also suggestions on knife sharpening methods. She had me test out a few other “similar” knives that were German and Japanese. She encouraged me to do more research online for both the Global Classic and the Global Sai line (which I had no idea about before I went in) before committing; it was the kind of customer service experience you hope to have when contemplating whether to drop $100-300 on a brand new, fancy knife. Honestly, although I am clearly big on cooking, I really don’t spend too much time in kitchen supply stores. But I will say that I do always enjoy visiting Sur La Table, and people who work there are always friendly and helpful. Plus, their cooking classes are approachable and fun. I’d choose them any day over Williams Sonoma.

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