If you have narrowed down your selection of kitchen knives to the german knife style, you should definitely consider these two options: Wusthof and Henckels. As you know, Wusthof and Henckels are the two most popular German kitchen knife brands with world-renowned reputations in the culinary world.
To demonstrate the popularity of the Wusthof brand, when I visited Williams-Sonoma with my husband over the weekend, they had on display their four most popular kitchen knives. Can you guess what two of those knives displayed were? You guessed it: Wusthof and Henckels.
As I already mentioned on my previous posts, Wusthof and Henckels share a number of features of high-quality kitchen knives. If you have not read the differences between German and Japanese kitchen knives, please click here. Before you continue your shopping for kitchen knives, I strongly recommend you that you should understand the unique features of the two different cutlery families.
As a symbol of high quality German kitchen knives, Wusthof contains the three most-prized features: forged, high-carbon stainless, and full-tang.
Most Wusthof kitchen knives are manufactured in a "forged" way, requiring intensive labor to produce a high-quality knife blade. On the other hand, if you see "stamp" as a part of the knife descriptions, that means the knife is manufactured by a machine, which mass produces as many as possible, thus lowering the price range, but also the quality. You can see the difference in price below.
High-carbon stainless kitchen knives are known for a sharp, strong, and rust-resistant blade. The high percentage of carbon in a blade can make it possible for the blade to be cut with a sharp angle in order to stay strong. Stainless is added to the knife in order to compensate for the the high carbon content that tends to be susceptible to rust.
The full-tang feature can often be seen in a forged knife. A full-tang knife blade runs from the tip of the blade to the handle as one single piece, preventing the blade from being separted from the handle.
When you purchase your Wusthof kitchen knife or knives, look for those three features mentioned above: forged, high carbon stainless and full-tang. With that being said, your next question probably is "Which Wusthof kitchen knife should I buy?"
I can point you toward the four most popular Wusthof kitchen knife lines: Wusthof Classic, Wusthof Classic Ikon, Wusthof Grand Prix, and Wusthof Gourmet.
Wusthof Classic is one of the most popular, best-selling lines produced by Wusthof. Wusthof Classic is made in Soligen, Germany and it shows the three features: forged, high carbon stainless, and full-tang as a high-quality cultery. The angle of a blade per side is 14 degrees.
Wusthof Classic Ikon is the upgraded version of the Wusthof Classic line with a slight change in the handle. As shown in the picture, the new handle of the Wusthof Classic Ikon is ergonomically designed to increase the comfort in the grip of the knife. The handle design depends on individual preference. Some people prefer to the traditional Classic knife handle and others love the newly designed handle of the Classic Ikon. The Classic Ikon is made in Germany and is a forged knife with a full tang. The blade is angled at 14 degrees.
Wusthof Grand Prix shares similar features of high carbon, full-tang, forged blade with the Wusthof Classic and the Wusthof Classic Ikon with a slight design difference. It is also made in Soligen, Germany and angled at 14 degrees.
Wusthof Gourmet is slightly different from the other Wusthof lines mentioned above. Like other Wusthof products, the Wusthof Gourmet is also manufactured in Germany. However, the Wusthof Gourmet blade is angled at 18.5 degrees which makes the blade not as sharp as the other lines. Also, the Wusthof Gourmet lacks "a bolster," which refers to the bulky part of the knife that connects the blade with the handle. (You can see a bolster in the three lines, Classic, Classic Ikon and Grand Prix.) A bolster is known to play a role in increasing the balance of the knife, which helps in cutting, and usually is present in a forged blade. However, the Wusthof Gourmet is stamped, not forged. While they tend to be lighter than forged blades, stamped blades also tend to lack the balance found in top-quality, forged blades. Also, stamped knives are mass-produced, so the price is much lower than the traditionally manufactured forged knife. You can check out the price of the Wusthof Gourmet in Amazon.
(Reference source: http://www.metrokitchen.com/wusthof-knife-comparison-guide)
I hope that all of this info helps you in deciding which is the right wusthof knife for you. If you would like to read the detailed reviews of the Wusthof Classic Ikon kitchen knife, click here to continue.
Enjoy your kitchen knife shopping and have happy cooking!
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