3 Best Wusthof Knives in 202122 min read

3 Best Wusthof Knives in 202122 min read

December 14, 2020 0 By Vasyl

Wusthof high-precision knives are recognized worldwide. Both fans of self-cooking and professional chefs appreciate the premium quality and exceptional sharpness of these German knives. You may think that a sharp blade is the most important thing in every kitchen knife. However, even the cheapest knives can be as sharp as expensive ones. The question is how long they can keep this sharpness. This is the main feature that differs a good knife from a bad one. With its 200-year-experience, the Wusthof company understands this better than many other vendors.

That’s why they developed their own Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) to create high-quality knives with their sharpness lasting for longer. Thanks to this technology, Wusthof kitchen knives get excellent blade geometry. Each knife passes laser-accuracy quality control before sharpening. Then the automated equipment defines an optimal sharpening angle and sharpens a knife on the grindstone before it reaches its maximum sharpness with a special polishing wheel. Affordable blades go through 35 different production stages to get certified, while the production of the best Wusthof knives includes 20 steps more.

These two types of knives refer to stamped and forged blades respectively. The German vendor offers both of them giving birth to a wide lineup of different Wusthof knife series. They include:

  • Silverpoint
  • Gourmet
  • Urban Farmer
  • Classic
  • Classic Ikon
  • Classic Ikon Creme
  • Grand Prix II
  • Crafter
  • Ikon
  • Epicure
  • Performer
  • Aeon

Each series has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Wusthof Classic knives have reliable forged blades and a great cost-quality ratio but their simple design can disappoint demanding knife enthusiasts. On the other hand, Aeon is Wusthof’s pinnacle of technology when it comes to both cutting and styling but a single knife costs about $1,000. In this review, I will cover only the top Wusthof knives and explain why I choose them and why I skip the others.

Gourmet – Best Price

Best Price

Wusthof Gourmet 4114/16

⭐⭐⭐

Stamped

X50CrMoV15

Polyoxymethylene


Best Value

Wusthof Gourmet santoku 4188/17

Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17

⭐⭐⭐

Stamped

X50CrMoV15

Polyoxymethylene


Best Specs

Wusthof Gourmet 8-inch chef's knife

Wusthof Gourmet 4562/18

⭐⭐⭐

Stamped

X50CrMoV15

Polyoxymethylene


Blades

During these production steps, an industrial laser cuts metal blade blanks are cut from a high-quality steel plate. Then complete blade blanks go through the same production stages as forged blades: quenching, grinding, polishing, and sharpening. The reduced weight and traditional European blade shape ensure easy chopping, slicing, and cutting for hours without much effort. Sharpening these stamped blades manually is even easier than forged knives because of a softer alloy. The Wusthof patented PEtec technology enables the vendor to create German-quality kitchen knives with long-lasting sharpness for an adequate price.  Hardened to 56 HRC, this knife series provides an accurate cut and reliable cutting edge.

Wusthof Gourmet kitchen knives are made from martensitic chromium-molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel with the grade of X50CrMoV15 where

Gourmet is an affordable Wusthof series of stamped knives cut with a precision laser. Stamped kitchen knives are lighter and cheaper than forged ones, but just as sharp and accurate. Laser-cut Wusthof Gourmet blades can keep their sharpness for months depending on the usage scenario. Since forging is not used during stamping, Gourmet blades are faster and easier to produce which results in a lower price. Nevertheless, more than 20 control techniques guarantee reliability and accuracy at all stages.

  • X goes for stainless steel
  • 50 goes for the carbon content of 0.5%. Carbon is an element that converts iron into steel or cast iron, depending on how much is contained in the alloy. This component forms the blade hardness and ability to remain sharp for longer.
  • Cr goes for chromium. This element provides high resistance to rust.
  • Mo goes for Molybdenum. This element maintains strength and corrosion resistance in Wusthof knives.
  • V goes for Vanadium which increases the strength of the cutting edge, thus reducing the blade wear.
  • 15 goes for chromium content up to 15%. Chrome makes a blade shine and increases its resistance to corrosion.

Handles

Wusthof Gourmet kitchen knives have handles made from polyoxymethylene, also known as POM. This is a special plastic that has a melting temperature of 356 °F (180 °C). Therefore, you have a chance to take your knife undamaged out of the oven if you suddenly forget it there. On the other hand, there are few dishes you can cook with a temperature lower than 356 °F. This limit rather means that you will have more time to waste until you smell your loss. The other benefit of POM is its high resistance to shock loads, organic solvents, and oils. It also means that the Gourmet handle will remain nice longer. In addition, polyoxymethylene prevents slipping, thus ensuring a reliable grip even in a wet hand. This feature is especially helpful during manual honing since it increases your safety.

Wusthof Gourmet handles have a traditional time-tested shape that fits any size hand thanks to its simplicity. They have a flat spine and special convex on the bottom for a comfortable grip. Along with a light weight, this allows you to easily manipulate any Wusthof Gourmet knife. You may think that a flat spine is rather a drawback since a more expensive Wusthof knife series has a curved handle spine. This, however, is a matter of preference. For instance, traditional Japanese knives have a flat handle of a cylindrical shape.

The handles also have a stop at the end that prevents your hand from slipping out of the shells. You will feel no inconvenience when either cutting a huge melon, slicing a beef steak, or chopping a carrot using the right type of knife. Besides a black color, Wusthof, unfortunately, doesn’t offer an alternative for Gourmet knives. Black, nevertheless, is always a safe bet for any kitchen. Attached to full-tang blades with 3 steel rivets, the surface of Gourmet handles is absolutely smooth and provides tactile comfort while holding. On the left handle shells, Gourmet knives have a branding sticker while the right shells are blank. The overall handle assembly is sturdy and feels reliable with no creaks and backlashes.

Design

Gourmet’s styling can disappoint demanding knife enthusiasts. It has a modest and simple appearance that will hardly impress you with its elegance. Standard black-colored handles attached to the full-tang blade with three steel rivets is a widespread approach even among low-cost Chinese kitchen knives. Handle shells don’t form a single surface with a blade. They look as if workers forgot to attach them during production and just accurately added the shells right before shipment. In addition, nothing protects your fingers and prevents products from getting under these shells. There’s no bolster. It’s hard to confirm that you won’t have uncleanable and unreachable dirt at the junctions of the blade and handle shells.

Why do I appreciate Gourmet then? The thing is that poor design, however, doesn’t make the whole series worthless. It’s just not what it has been developed for. It has another conception inside. Gourmet is rather about functionality than design. Indeed, this affordable lineup won’t become a perfect fit for your kitchen interior design. These knives should be stored in a block or knife tray where you can take them from only when you need to cook something because they look like thousands of other kitchen knives. They can’t play the role of the interior decoration. The main beauty of Wusthof Gourmet knives, however, is their practicability. They’re dishwasher safe. Produced from premium materials, they are the best Wusthof knives in 2021 for home use for the money they cost.

Lineup

The Wusthof Gourmet series consists of more than 40 different kitchen knives including such rarely used blades as roast beef slicers and decorating knives. This one of the largest Wusthof knife lineup. Everybody will find a knife according to one’s needs. It offers 6 different paring knives and 10 types of slicers. Moreover, you can choose from 6 different sizes of Wusthof cook’s knives: from 6 to 10 inches. Gourmet also includes utility, bread, fillet, santoku, and other blades of various sizes. Taking into account that many knife types in a single series, it doesn’t look like the vendor developed it solely for home chefs.

Pricing

Gourmet is the best Wusthof knife series when it comes to cost. This, however, doesn’t mean they’re the cheapest. While the most affordable Wusthof knives are Silverpoint ones, Gourmet provides much more benefits for a price that is only a bit higher than Silverpoint. Gourmet blades are made from the same steel grade as Epicure, a sub-flagman lineup. Its handle shells are made from the same high-quality plastic as Classic Ikon Creme knives. There’s nothing in these blades that would affect your cutting experience in your home kitchen. The most important advantage of Gourmet kitchen knives is that they have an excellent price/quality ratio.

Pros and Cons

㊉ Advantages

  • Chrome molybdenum vanadium steel
  • Affordable price
  • Excellent price/quality ratio
  • Polyoxymethylene handle shells
  • Reliable assembly
  • Large lineup
  • Dishwasher safe

㊀ Disadvantages

  • Stamped blades
  • Relatively low hardness
  • No bolsters
  • Simple design

Classic Ikon Creme – Best Overall

Best Price

Wuesthof Ikon Creme 6-inch utility knife

Wusthof Gourmet 4506-0/16

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Forged

X50CrMoV15

Polyoxymethylene


Best Value

Wusthof Gourmet 4596-0/20

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Forged

X50CrMoV15

Polyoxymethylene


Best Specs

Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme bread knife 4166-0/20

Wusthof Gourmet 4166-0/20

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Forged

X50CrMoV15

Polyoxymethylene


Blades

Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme knives are made from the same martensitic chromium-molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel as the Gourmet series. Its grade is X50CrMoV15 where

  • X goes for stainless steel
  • 50 goes for the carbon content of 0.5%. Carbon is an element that converts iron into steel or cast iron, depending on how much is contained in the alloy. This component forms the blade hardness and ability to remain sharp for longer.
  • Cr goes for chromium. This element provides high resistance to rust.
  • Mo goes for Molybdenum. This element maintains strength and corrosion resistance in Wusthof knives.
  • V goes for Vanadium which increases the strength of the cutting edge, thus reducing the blade wear.
  • 15 goes for chromium content up to 15%. Chrome makes a blade shine and increases its resistance to corrosion.

Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme knives have forged full-tang blades made of single pieces of stainless steel. They all have bolsters – special thickenings between a blade and handle, which increase the strength of a blade, thus ensuring its durability and balance. Wusthof’s state-of-the-art production is based on the use of automated high-tech robots. In total, the manufacturing process includes different 55 stages that still use traditional handicraft which refers to a perfect combination of experience and technology.

Hot steel is poured at a temperature of about 1250 °C in special molds. Due to molding and further hardening, the steel structure gets thicker. As a result, the alloy becomes resistant to corrosion as well as durable and hard. Then the workpiece goes through multi-level forging and polishing, thus becoming a blade ready for the handle assembly. Laser sharpening based on the PEtec technology turns a forged blade into a luxury kitchen knife.

The Classic Ikon Creme series knives have half-bolsters that protect your fingers from injuries during cutting, increase the overall knife assembly strength, prevent product pieces from getting on and under handle shells, as well as improves the knife stability and balance. Compared to full-length bolsters like in Classic and Epicure series, shortened ones provide more freedom because they allow you to use the whole length of the cutting edge. What even more helpful with half-bolsters is that they make the manual sharpening process easier unlike full-bolsters that can damage a whetstone with inaccurate hand movements.

Perfectly balanced weight with the center of gravity in the bolster is the distinguishing feature of Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme knives. They greatly feel in a hand and provide efficient, energy-saving work that does not tire the hand. The vendor conducts quality control throughout the overall production process, thus guaranteeing the highest standards for each blade capable of performing a perfect cut and long-lasting sharpness thanks to high hardness of 58 HRC.

Handles

Classic Ikon Creme has the same handles as the Classic Ikon series knives. The only difference is their nice-looking cream color. These lovely cream-colored shells are reliably attached to a steel handle with 3 metallic rivets. Along with the handle shells, these rivets are almost unfelt by touch and smoothly flushed with the handle surface. The handle shells are made with the same plastic as Gourmet, Classic, and Classic Ikon series. This plastic is called polyoxymethylene and significantly resists large temperature differences and can keep its structure and appearance for decades. Like Gourmet knives, Classic Ikon Creme handles securely remain even in a wet hand during cutting due to their anti-swiping material. They ensure a reliable grip even if you forget to wipe your hands after washing them and start working with the knife immediately.

With 4.7 inches of width, Classic Ikon Creme handles are suitable for palms of any size. Their shape looks brutal and reminds the shape of hunting knife handles with its descending bottom line. This shape perfectly fits your fingers during a claw grip. The top part of the handle has a special ledge that rests on the palm, thus providing a comfortable hand position and ensuring a natural grip that enables you to work with the knife longer without feeling tiredness in your hand for hours. That’s why cooking for a big family with Classic Ikon Creme knives is always a pleasure rather than a tiring task.

At the end of the handle, Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme knife handles have steel counterweights with the company logo engraved on them. The counterweight is an inherent part of Wusthof full-tang blades. Along with the bolster, it makes the knife well-balanced, thus making the cutting process easier, less tiring, and more comfortable.

Design

Classic Ikon Creme handle design reminds me of old-fashioned flatware curved bone handles with similar cream shade, made in the nineteenth century. Using these knives make you feel some sort of an aristocrat and nostalgic. I fell in love with this series before I even took a knife in my hand.

Classic Ikon Creme knives look gorgeous and stylish. Its cream-colored handles add some luxury to the whole cutting tool. In my opinion, this series is the best Wusthof knife lineup when it comes to design. Its shape impresses and makes your heart beat faster if you’re a cooking enthusiast and appreciate beautiful and functional tools. From the first look, its styling lets you know that the knife you’re holding in your hand belongs to premium cutlery. Its shiny blade and elegant handle assure you that you’re using a masterpiece of the knife making art rather than a standard kitchen knife.

My kitchen interior mostly has cocoa and cream color shades that’s why Classic Ikon Creme blades perfectly fit its design. This series will also look great in any kitchen because of the stylish handles, nice and warm color of shells, and shiny full-tang blade with a half-bolster and counterweight with a logo engraved on it. Classic Ikon Creme knives feel like an inherent kitchen design interior element and I’m sure it will fit your kitchen as well despite the main color palette in your kitchen. In fact, this is not just a color that makes this lineup look so good, the thing is in the overall knife design. It’s brilliant and useful at the same time. In reality, these knives look even better than in pictures.

Lineup

Classic Ikon Creme is one of the smallest Wusthof lineups because it includes only about 20 different knives. There are only two paring, two utility, and two santoku knives both with hollow edges among other types of knives in this series. It, however, includes bread knives with serrated and double serrated blades. Such rarely used kitchen knife types as sausage, fillet, boning, and Chinese chef’s knives are also included. The most amazing items in the Classic Ikon Creme lineup are knife sets coming in original cream-colored ash wood blocks consisting of 3 connected sections.

Pricing

Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme hardly differs from Classic Ikon or even Ikon knife series. Compared to Classic Ikon, the only distinguishing feature is the color of handle shells. This characteristic, nevertheless, makes the knives look totally different from what you can find on the market. This lineup belongs to expensive kitchen knives. For instance, an 8-inch cook’s knife from this series costs about $180 while the price of a complete set of 6 pieces can reach $500-$600. Is It much? Definitely, yes. Is it too much? Clearly no. Classic Ikon Creme is worth its money because it offers high-quality and durable materials, modern production technologies, reliable assembly, and magnificent design.

Pros and Cons

㊉ Advantages

  • Chrome-molybdenum vanadium steel
  • Forged blades
  • High hardness
  • Polyoxymethylene handle shells
  • Reliable assembly
  • Brilliant design
  • Half-bolsters

㊀ Disadvantages

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • High price
  • Small lineup

Epicure – Best Design

Best Price

Wusthof Epicure cook's knife

Wusthof Gourmet 3982/20

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Forged

X50CrMoV15

Natural fiber


Best Value

Wusthof Epicure paring knife 3 inches

Wusthof Gourmet 3966/09

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Forged

X50CrMoV15

Natural fiber


Best Specs

Wusthof Epicure 8-inch cook's knife

Wusthof Gourmet 3982/16

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Forged

X50CrMoV15

Natural fiber


Blades

Wusthof Epicure knife blades are made from forged martensitic chromium-molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel which is a basic material for most Wusthof blades. Its grade is X50CrMoV15 where

  • X means stainless steel
  • 50 means 0.5% of the carbon content. This chemical element converts iron into steel. The more carbon steel contains, the harder an alloy is but the more fragile at the same time. The optimal content of carbon ensures high hardness, strength, and durability of the cutting edge as well as allows an easy manual sharpening.
  • Cr, in this formula, means chromium. This element makes a blade more resistant to corrosion.
  • Mo means Molybdenum. This element maintains strength and corrosion resistance in Wusthof knives.
  • V means Vanadium. It improves the strength of the cutting edge and reduces blade wear.
  • 15 means 15% of the chromium content in the alloy. Chrome makes a blade shine and increases its resistance to corrosion.

Wusthof Epicure knife blades are forged from single pieces of stainless steel. Their built-in bolsters are inherent parts of the full-tang blades. This production approach increases the strength of the overall knife assembly and balance. The company, in my opinion, made a wise decision to offer Epicure cook’s knives with full and half bolsters. Thus, each cook can choose an option according to one’s preferences. While full bolsters provide more reliable protection from occasional cuts, half ones are more comfortable in use since they allow a cook to use the full length of a blade and make manual sharpening and honing processes more efficient and easier because these short bolsters can’t accidentally hit a whetstone or sharpener.

One of the main benefits of Wusthof Epicure knives is their well-balanced weight with the center of gravity in bolsters. Compared to Classic Ikon, or Classic knives, Wusthof Epicure bolsters have a special curved shape aimed at reducing pressure on the cook’s fingers. Professional cooks often have calluses on the first phalanx of the pointer finger – right where a bolster rests against a finger. A convenient bolster deepening allows easy cooking for hours. Thanks to an excellent knife balance and comfortable grip, Epicure knives are easy to manipulate and provide efficient, energy-saving work without tiring your hand. 

Using its patented PEtec technology, Wusthof conducts quality control during each of the 55 production steps, which include both manual handcraft and automated process, thus guaranteeing the highest standards and perfect cuts as well as long-lasting sharpness due to as high hardness of 58 HRC as Classic Ikon Creme knives. Like other Wusthof forged blades, hot steel for Epicure is poured at a temperature of 2282 °F in special molds. After molding and hardening, the alloy structure becomes thicker, more resistant to corrosion, durable, and harder.

Handles

Wusthof Epicure knife handle shells are made from natural fiber, an eco-friendly material that is as practical as polyoxymethylene and as warm as wood. This material is durable which will allow the handle to keep its appearance for decades. Compared to plastic handles, natural fiber feels more pleasing and softer. Like prestigious plastic other Wusthof knife series handle shells are made from natural fiber which is hygienic and non-slip. That’s why you can safely work with any of the Epicure knives even if your hands are wet. This is extremely important during dangerous manual sharpening with the use of whetstones where water is a required technology process ingredient. As a result, natural fiber makes Wusthof Epicure knives safer.

The handles of these knives have a special shape curved on the bottom, with an oblique line on the handle spine, thus copying the shape of a human palm holding a knife. Greatly adapted to the shape of the palm, Wusthof Epicure knives are easy and comfortable to work with despite a size of the hand you have. Securely fastened to the full tang blade with two steel rivets, natural fiber handle shells have a smooth surface with no dips, protrusions, or creaks. Epicure is the top Wusthof knife series in 2021 when it comes to the handle ergonomics. 

Design

The vendor developed Epicure by combining German and Japanese knife-making traditions. This knife series includes innovative cooking tools that include the lightness and sharpness of Japanese knives as well as the precision and reliability of German cutlery production. As a result, you get a new type of knives for any cooking style, which sets new standards in shape, functioning, and performance. Besides an elegant Epicure geometry looks extraordinary, luxurious, and attractive, it offers a well-balanced weight distribution and comfortable grip. It provides full control over these knives, thus ensuring a precise and safe cutting.

You understand that Wusthof Epicure is a premium kitchen knife series from the first look. As soon as you take any of these knives in a hand, you understand you’re holding a professional cutting tool that is hardly similar to any of the existing knives on the market. Epicure has its own curves that will definitely complement any kitchen style. Apart from its perfect cutting characteristics, it’s also a charming interior element. These the knives that should be stored on magnetic panels rather than hidden in blocks. It’s hard to find a more pretty knife to give as a gift.

Either a paring or cook’s knife from the Wusthof Epicure lineup looks rich and elegant because of their curved brown handles and full-length bolster. Their design impresses with how seamlessly a bolster turns into the handle. Every single part plays the double role of being functional and beautiful. The biggest beauty of the Epicure series is that it combines convenience, sophisticated design, and perfect cutting characteristics.  

Lineup

Epicure is a small Wusthof lineup that includes only 12 different knives where two chef’s blades with half bolsters are analogs to the same knives with full bolster. This series includes only the most important knives most of which has a single size except cook’s knives. For example, Epicure includes a single santoku knife with a hollow edge while Gourmet offers both types of santoku blades: with and without a hollow edge. In total, Wusthof Epicure contains: 

  • 2 paring knives
  • 1 sausage knife with a serrated edge
  • 1 steak knife
  • 5 cook’s knives
  • 1 carving knife
  • 1 bread knife
  • 1 santoku knife

Wusthof also offers an original magnetic block that implies blades sticking to the block from both sides instead of storing blades inside of it.

Pricing

Epicure is one of the most expensive Wusthof series. Only the newest Performer and Aeon have higher pricing. For example, Wusthof Epicure 8-inch cook’s knife 3982/20 costs $200. It’s a lot for a single knife. For this price, however, you buy a high-quality knife with an excellent design. On the other hand, the cutting characteristics of the Epicure lineup as great as Classic, Classic Ikon, Ikon, Grand Prix, and Classic Ikon Creme series because all of them are made from the same forged steel. They differ only with their handle shape and materials. Is it worth paying more for a natural fiber handle instead of a plastic one? It depends on how important for you your tactile feelings are during cutting. One way or another, Epicure is one of the top Wusthof knives in 2021 for both professional and home kitchens.

Pros and Cons

㊉ Advantages

  • Chrome-molybdenum vanadium steel
  • Forged blades
  • High hardness
  • Natural fiber handle shells
  • Reliable assembly
  • Brilliant design
  • Both half and full bolsters for coo’s knives

㊀ Disadvantages

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • High price
  • Small lineup