If you are even a little bit interested in kitchen knives, then I can bet that you have heard of the name Wüsthof at some point. These finest quality well-loved knives come from the ‘knife-making capital’ of the world, Solingen, Germany.
A quick look at the producer price index of metal kitchen cookware will tell you that consumer spending in this industry is rising continuously. People are willing to spend on premium kitchenware more than ever before.
‘Premium’ and ‘Wüsthof’ are almost synonymous at this point. Wüsthof is a very well respected and widely acclaimed knife maker in the world. And today, in this article, I will present you with the best Wusthof knives review.
Let’s get into it!
How to Choose the Best Wüsthof Knives
Wüsthof has several lines of products. Among them, to find the one most suitable for yourself, you should follow a guide. Here are the things you need to know to make a choice –
Forged or Stamped?
Models that are forged use individual steel pieces. The pieces are heated and hammered to be shaped into knives. Heating the steel changes its molecular composition, turning it more robust and tougher. Wüsthof’s Classic, Epicure, Ikon, Grand Prix II, et cetera. are forged products.
Stamped blades are, as you can guess from the name, forged out of stainless steel sheets using technology. They are tempered and heat-treated afterward. Since they are easier to make, they cost less to buy. Wüsthof’s Gourmet and Pro lines are stamped.
Forged knives, although costing a lot, are way more durable & sharp compared to stamped ones.
The majority of Wüsthof’s product lines have synthetic material handles that feel and look like actual wood. This material is called polyoxymethylene. Classic and Classic Ikon lines feature this handle.
Their most premium, top of the line products, called the Ikon (not to be mistaken for their ‘Classic Ikon’), features handles made from real wood. The Wüsthof Epicure line, on the other hand, has handles made with recycled wood fiber. This is the one to get if you want to support the environment.
The less expensive stamped knives from Wüsthof have handles made with another synthetic material that does not imitate real wood. But do not be bummed if this is what you end up getting. The ergonomic shape of the handle makes up for the lack of premium feel.
Product Lines of Wüsthof Knives
Read the brief descriptions below to locate the line best suited for you –
The most famous line from Wüsthof, the Classic, contains their most timeless designs. These knives have the synthetic wood handles we talked about. There are about 70 different knives in this range, even a few Japanese style ones. You are bound to find one that matches your needs.
Go a step up from Wüsthof Classic, and you get Classic Ikon. The main difference between this and the previous line is the double bolster style. If you are after the most well-balanced knives out there, this is the line to buy from.
Go through some Wüsthof epicure reviews, and you will see that their gorgeous warm brown handles are made from recycled and sustainable wood fibers called Richlite. Epicure handles are on the skinnier and taller side than most. Their blades are unique, too. They are a bit wider with an outward curve at the back.
Wüsthof Gourmet knives are stamped from high carbon stainless steel sheets. They look deceptively similar to their Classic knives, just a bit more affordable. Go for these if you are looking to save a few bucks but still want the Wüsthof premium feel.
Grand Prix II
These are also stamped, but a bit less high-end than the previous line. They are essentially the cheaper version of Wüsthof Classic knives.
Want the best Wüsthof has to offer? Get an Ikon then! They are identical to the Classic Ikon line. The difference is they have a different, higher-end African Blackwood handle.
This is as affordable as Wüsthof will get. If a wood or wood lookalike handle is not your topmost priority, and you want to save as much as you can, go for this line.
Wüsthof Knives Review
Now let’s get to the reviews. To review these knives, I have taken into account both my personal experience and the experiences of other users. That way, the reviews stay bias-free.
Wüsthof Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Chef knives are one of the most versatile and useful kitchen tools you can get. A good chef’s knife can replace several types of blades. They can easily be used to prepare a full meal. You can mince, slice, chop, dice, and do more with a quality chef’s knife.
As part of the Wüsthof Classic line, this knife has a full tang and triple rivets. Full tang is when the handle and knife are forged from the same block of metal. This, coupled with three rivets, gives you a knife that will last for a lifetime.
Just to give you an idea, a user said it lasted for over 20 years for them & still performs well.
The steel is rust & spot resistant and will not rust no matter what you do with the knife. Dishwasher, not drying off after washing – nothing breaks this baby. However, I do not recommend torturing a knife that you spent hundreds on like that, just because it can handle it. It is a luxury item, and it deserves extra love.
This knife is perfect for chefs. You can work with meats and veggies for hours every day, and it still would not dull down. I enjoy the weight on it too.
But, I’ll admit that it might be a bit too heavy for some people, particularly those with bone complications or are new with heavy knives. It can be a bit tough to maneuver also for those that are inexperienced.
Wüsthof Gourmet 8 Inch Vegetable Knife
Looking for a reasonably priced fruit & veggie knife? You cannot go wrong with this aerated 8-inch beauty from Wüsthof’s Gourmet series. Some people might argue that vegetable knives are not the most essential, but they can be pretty useful for someone who does not require cutting meats.
As part of the Gourmet series, the handle of this knife is made of synthetic polypropylene. This material resists discoloration, color fading, uneven colors, impact, and heat. Although stamped, the stamping itself is done with a high precision laser-cut, providing you with the sharpest forged knife possible.
I enjoyed cutting my fruits and veggies with it. It is so sharp that it easily breezes through anything I tested it with. The results look spectacularly good. So, if you are a food stylist and need some precise, straight cuts of veggies & fruit, consider getting this knife.
The large holes up the side of the knife and lengthwise ridge along the holes keep food from sticking to the knife as you are cutting. A small detail, but a thoughtful one. It is quite useful for someone who needs to do many chopping in a large batch for salads and stocks.
Using this for a prolonged period feels very comfortable. Additionally, the weight felt just right to me; it is neither too heavy nor too light—just enough heft.
Wüsthof Classic Two Piece Stainless Steel Prep Set
Our third pick is yet another entry from the Classic line. This line is Wüsthof’s most popular one and features many different knives for your every need. So, it is not a shocker for knives to appear more than once from this line.
I will not go into detail as to why a full tang and triple rivet knife is excellent again. Just know that these knives have them too. In this set, you get a 6-inch chef’s knife and a 3 ½ inch paring knife.
I am a big fan of this combo because most kitchen work can be done with just these two knives.
Because it is such a complete set, you can give this gift to loved ones. I would rather have a bunch of two great multi-purpose Wüsthofs than a 15 piece more affordable knife set.
Using the chef’s knife initially felt slightly off and awkward because I am very used to using standard 8-inch chef’s knives, and 6 inches is an unusual length for such knives. However, once I got used to cutting with it, it didn’t bother me anymore.
On the flip side, I even began preferring it over my typical chef’s knives because my hands are on the smaller side. I can imagine anyone else with little hands liking it too.
Wüsthof Three Piece Cook’s Set
Are you looking for Wüsthof chef knives set right enough for a professional? This is it! Remember how I said you could do most kitchen work with the previous set? Well, with this one, you can do it all.
This set comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 6-inch utility knife, and a three ½-inch paring knife. As part of the Classic series, all three are forged from a single block of high carbonated stainless steel. They are also full tanged and triple-riveted.
The chef’s knife is the same one from the 1st entry in this list. So, you know it works great. You can use it to chop herbs, vegetables, meat, nuts, et cetera. It works for anything. I enjoy smashing cloves of garlic with the wide blade and working with meat with this knife.
For smaller detailed jobs that do not require such a large blade as the 8 inches one, use the utility knife. This means mincing garlic and shallots, de-veining prawns, removing the seeds from peppers, and peeling fruits and vegetables. It can also cut through tougher vegetables too. All in all, it is super handy and compact.
Need something even smaller for more details? Then use the paring knife! It does most of the same work as the utility knife but gives you even more precision and maneuverability.
Wüsthof Classic 4 Piece Steak Knife Set
Tired of finding Wüsthof classic knives set on this list yet? I’m quite sure you are not, so here’s another one!
When you are shopping for steak knives, you need to consider two things – sharpness & serration. Steak knives are used to eat steaks, and you should be able to cut through the meat, no matter how tough it may be, with ease. Sharpness will achieve that.
While many steak knives on the market are serrated, it is not advised to get them. Because serrated knives will pull on the meat and tear it when cutting, which will result in uneven and choppy slices, this is a big no-no, especially for people who cook and present high-quality meat frequently.
Wüsthof markets this set as being ‘razor-sharp,’ and these are plain knives. So, check and check. They are ideal for steaks. You barely have to put any effort when cutting with these. They glide through the steak effortlessly.
Honestly, when I use them for eating steaks, it feels like such a treat & a luxurious experience. It is crazy how the utensils, not the steak itself, can enhance the user’s experience so much.
However, I have noticed that this set needs to be sharpened or honed more frequently than other Wüsthof knives. Perhaps this is because they are sharper than standard knives. That being said, they are easy to sharpen and does so incredibly. So, no complaints there.
Wüsthof Classic Two Piece Carving Set
Just like Thanksgiving is incomplete without Turkey, a Turkey cooking session is incomplete without a good carving knife and fork set. If you work with big pieces of meat often, be it beef or ham or birds, you would not regret investing in a set like this.
As you have already seen in my other Wusthof classic knives reviews, the pieces from this set are full tanged and triple-riveted. The ergonomic handle is particularly crucial for carving.
When carving, I need all the comfort and ease of use I can get from my knife and fork. This handle did that job well.
The carving knife is longer and narrower compared to a regular cooking knife. It is designed like this so that the carving knife can slice through a piece of meat more quickly than a traditional knife could.
As expected, the knife is razor sharp for cleaner cuts. The tip is beneficial to shave meat away from bones.
Wüsthof is known for extraordinary attention to detail. The hollow edges on this knife could be an example of that. They create tiny air pockets between the meat and the knife, which helps to loosen up the meat from the knife. That way, the meat does not stick to the knife and is easier to remove.
The fork is slightly shorter than most generic ones, which makes it easier to work with.
Wüsthof 7 Inch Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife
You won’t find many Wusthof Legende reviews out there because this series is not as widely sold. It is very similar to the Wüsthof classic knives, with a different handle type.
The handles of the legende series are slimmer & smaller. They are made with thermoplastic and are pebbled. This makes them slightly more affordable from Classics because these handles cost less to make.
Whether the grip is good or not depends on the user. It’s just different. While some may like it, others may not.
For someone with, you guessed it, small hands, I like the handle because it is easier to grip and work with this knife for a long time. You will not feel fatigued or cramps with the smaller, more comfortable size.
Like the knife before, it also has hollow edges to prevent any vegetable from sticking to your knife.
I prefer to use Nakiri knives when I need to cut a rather large batch of vegetables. The squared-off head allows me to cut through the vegetables on my chopping board without having to push the tip or pull the knife across.
A few times a month, I make veggie stock in large batches. The Wüsthof Nakiri is the knife I reach for the most when I do prep work for that. I can also imagine how chefs managing salad bars would love to have a knife like this.
Wüsthof Gourmet 9 Inch Serrated Bread Knife
This list would have been incomplete without at least one bread knife. It may not seem very important. But trust me, every cook should have at least one chef’s knife, one bread knife, and one paring knife in their arsenal. Everything else is optional.
From my previous Wüsthof gourmet reviews, you already know that this knife is stamped and laser cut. You also know all about the handle. So, what else does this knife has to offer? It’s a full tang serrated bread knife made to cut loaves of bread without squashing or damaging them.
A loaf of bread is somewhat tricky to cut appropriately because the hard crust stops even the sharpest knives from cutting through it well. Before you know it – your bread’s inside part is ruined by the force you’ve put for cutting it.
This is why a serrated bread knife is so important. It will cut through the hard exterior without causing any damage to the delicate insides.
I have to admit – I am not much of a bread baker. But I have used this knife plenty of times on loaves of bread I bought from the bakery as well as cakes I had baked. It performed beautifully in both instances.
If you are someone who is really into baking and makes all kinds of baked goodies – go for it!
Wüsthof Classic 7 Piece Slim Knife Block Set
Up next is one of the best Wusthof knives set you can get – I am a massive fan of this one!
Making a good knife set is a tricky job for the manufacturer because it needs to be versatile enough to contain everything a cook would need. Simultaneously, it cannot have any knife that mostly goes unused and wastes money & space.
This set comes with a paring knife (3.5-inch), a bread knife (8-inch), a chef’s knife (8-inch), a serrated utility knife (5-inch), a kitchen shears that can be opened apart, a Kiritsuke prep knife (6-inch) and a slim six-slot knife block. You can get the knife block in 3 different colors.
I liked the block a lot. It is slim and less bulky than most regular knife blocks. The gorgeous finishes look very elegant on a kitchen counter. On to the knives themselves, I have already reviewed the chef’s knife, the paring knife, and the utility knife for you.
As for usability, I feel like it is not very repetitive as the different sized knives all can be used for various functions. The coming apart function of the kitchen scissors is handy, too! It’s very nice having a set of super-sharp high-quality knives on your counter ready to be used.
Some users reported that the knife block, although nice looking, is not very well made. Its quality did not match that of the knives themselves. However, Wüsthof deals with issues like this well and takes the necessary steps to replace the faulty ones. My knife block did not have any problems.
Wüsthof Trident 8792 9 Piece Forged Knife Set
Our last entry belongs to the Wüsthof Grand Prix II series. It is an excellent option for a beginner chef who requires a complete set of kitchen tools. I like the assortment of tools you get in this bag.
The things included in this set are a paring knife (3 ½-inch), a double-edged peeler, a cook’s knife (8-inch), a serrated bread knife (8-inch), a boning knife (5-inch), a steel sharpener (10-inch), a pair of kitchen scissors, a citrus zester, and a rolled bag to store it all.
What I like the most about the Grand Prix II series is that they are forged, but come at an affordable price tag. Sure, many people do not like the handle. It falls a bit short, especially for a luxury brand. But I do not have any complaints as the blade itself is the best quality Wüsthof offers.
The additional cutleries are all very high quality and functional. These knives have the right balance. They are lightweight, too. Moreover, the edge retention is impressive. The blades hone or sharpen beautifully. All in all, you will not regret buying this set.
If you are short on counter space, then you will like the roll bag too. It is a nice little bag where you can put everything back once you are done with them, roll cup, and tuck away somewhere else.
How Wüsthof Knives Are Made
Wüsthof knives go through 40 different steps in their factory. The raw material, X50 Cr Mo V 15, consists of stainless steel, 0.5% carbon, chrome, Molybdenum, Vanadium, and 15% chromium.
This blend of ingredients produces a steel that is corrosion & rust-resistant, tough, and malleable enough to reshape quickly.
After cutting the steel into blade sized rectangles, the pieces are heated at approximately 2200 degrees F.
You have already read about how they forge and stamp knives, so not getting into that. After forging/ stamping, the knives are cooled and then tempered at 1920 degrees F to achieve Rockwell scale hardness.
The forged knives then go through an innovative technique called PEtec. It uses technology to measure, calculate specific sharpening positions for each knife, and point them following the calculation. They are then polished, too. This gives forged knives extreme sharpness, durability, and better edge retention.
For non-precise heavy work, advanced robotics and lasers are used. There are more than 400 employees in their factory whose job is to provide a right eye, craftsmanship, experience, and intuition to make the knives as right as they are.
Every Wüsthof knife travels through the hands of multiple trained specialists and gets their approval before arriving at your doorstep.
Classic vs. Gourmet
Even though they are both made with X50 Cr Mo V 15 German stainless steel, these two product lines are similar. They look very much alike, and that’s where the similarities end.
The Classic knives are forged from a single bar of stainless steel. As a result of the constant heating and hammering, the blade becomes thick, hardy, and heavy-duty. Gourmet knives, on the other hand, are cut out with machines from a sheet of metal. These blades are thinner and not very heavy duty.
Moreover, the Classic knives also have a bolster at the knife’s base for additional safety; Gourmet ones do not. Another difference is that forged knives are treated with a unique sharpening process called PEtec. This gives them better edge retention and more sharpness than stamped knives.
Classic knives perform better than Gourmet ones. But, they also come with a much higher price tag. And for what they are, the Gourmet ones do not perform poorly at all. They are great for entry-level cooks, and the Classic ones are for more experienced users.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between honing and sharpening?
A: Honing is a maintenance step. It keeps the blade’s edge clean. Also, if the knife has microscopic teeth, it realigns them.
Sharpening removes some metal for the blade to give it a new edge, therefore making it sharper.
Q: How do I clean my Wüsthof knife?
A: After you are done using the knife, hand wash it with warm water and mild detergent. Do not use the dishwasher because it will eventually degrade the knife’s quality by dulling it down.
It can even get rusts from other nearby metal utensils in the washer. You do not need to use abrasive steel cleaners either. Be gentle.
Q: How do I check if my knife is sharp enough?
A: Do the ‘paper test.’ Hold a piece of paper with one hand and try to cut through it with your knife. If it’s sharp enough, it will glide through the paper with no problem. Otherwise, it’s time to get your sharpener out.
Q: How to get the most use out of my Wüsthof chef’s knife?
A: Use the tip or front of your knife for small vegetables, mushrooms, onions, cloves of garlic, and other herbs. With the end part near the base, cut food that is generally tough to cut. Because you transfer the most weight at the end, it gets easier. Use the middle edge for everything else.
Q: Does Wüsthof manufacture some of its products in the US?
A: No. Wüsthof values its heritage and identity. They are proudly based in Germany.
We have come to the end of the Wusthof knives review. Honestly, I love all of the entries on our list for different reasons. If you want to get one for yourself, you should consider what you will use it for.
For an overall best knife, I would suggest the Classic chef’s knife. It is a true all-rounder.