2 Best Wusthof Santoku Knives Under $100 in 202113 min readNovember 30, 2020 0 By Vasyl
Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17
Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17
➊ Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 – Best Santoku for Home
Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 is a traditional chef’s knife (Santoku) created by the Wüsthof, Solingen-based brand in Germany. Solingen, also known as the City of Blades, is home to many famous cutlery manufacturers such as Zwilling J.A. Henckels, DOVO, Hubertus, Böker, WKC, Carl Schmidt Sohn, etc. What connoisseurs love in the Wüsthof brand is that it only focuses on the production of kitchen knives, knife sharpening, knife storage, and cutting bases. Besides, this brand is owned by one family, can boast a perfect reputation, and more than 200-hundred years of history.
Wusthof knives belong to meticulously crafted, premium class products. They are perfect instruments for both chefs and cooking enthusiasts. All these factors make the Wusthof knife series exclusive and desirable for thousands of customers from all over the world. In this review, I have concentrated on the Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 model. I bought this knife 5 weeks ago and was testing it during this period. Now I am ready to share my experience and explain the knife’s pros and cons. After reading this review, you’ll be able to determine whether you need this cutting tool.
- Series – Gourmet
- Steel grade – X50CrMoV15
- The blade is made of molybdenum vanadium steel
- Type – stamped
- The handle is made of polyoxymethylene
- Blade length – 6.7 inches (17 cm)
I do like all Wusthof knife series and use them in my both professional and home kitchen. I appreciate these knives strong construction and reliability. However, I must admit that the design is not their forte. The only exception is Classic Ikon Creme due to its luxurious champagne-color handle. As for Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 knife, it features a simple and modest design. It’s definitely not a cutlery masterpiece that can become a decorative element in your kitchen. Whether you place it in the knife block or on the magnet holder, it won’t catch your guests’ eyes unless they are fans of the Wusthof brand.
Although Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 has a plain design it doesn’t look cheap due to its hollow edge and blade engraving. The appearance of this Santoku knife emphasizes its practicality, functionality, and reliability. So, the lack of beauty doesn’t make this model worse than others. The knife’s blade looks formidable, but the black-colored, plastic handle has a mediocre traditional design. There is no bolster – an essential part of other Wusthof forged cutting tools. Furthermore, this knife comes in a simple carton box and plastic bag. So, if you consider it as a present, you may want to add a gift wrap to make the packaging more attractive, or you can opt for the luxurious Classic series
Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 has a stamped cutting edge which makes it razor-sharp, long-lasting, and easily restorable. The blade boasts excellent geometry thanks to the Precision Edge Technology (PEtec). Wusthof Gourmet series features laser-cut knives. This technology requires fewer production stages compared to forged knives, that’s why the price for laser cut items is lower. But they are still of a high quality due to 35 manufacturing processes including 20 control phases. Such a long procedure guarantees the accuracy and durability of complete knives. I do like the optimal balance between the price and quality of the Santoku knives.
Wusthof Gourmet blades are made of a single fraction of chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel, X50CrMoV15. This unique high carbon, stain- ad rust-resistant composition ensures that Wusthof knives have all the essential features from the beginning. My Santoku cutting edge is still sharp after 5-week of frequent use in the home kitchen. The blade is lightweight (only 0.25 lbs. or 114 g), making it convenient to manipulate for long hours.The overall length of the Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 is 6.7 inches which is equal to 17 cm., it’s a standard length for Wusthof Santoku knives.
Personally, I, like many other chefs, like working with this knife due to its unique hollow edge. The hollow edge prevents food items from sticking to the blade so that a cook can focus on the cutting rather than on cleaning the knife. It adds another level of convenience and efficiency when working with this Japanese knife.The model is strong and durable since the blade runs through the handle right to the knife end, it’s a so-called full-tang blade. The knife’s tip is curved downwards while the cutting edge is straight. Such a shape allows the cook to use the entire blade length for different cutting techniques: cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, and micing. With this knife, you’ll be able to cut products with little or no pressure and get neat and thin slices.
With a Wusthof Gourmet Santoku knife, you’ll easily cut any type of greens, vegetables, and fruits in small cubes or straws. It’s a pure pleasure to cut ingredients for various vegetarian meals with this knife. The 4188/17 model manages big and tough pieces of fish, pork, or beef. It also easily separates the tender flesh of a chicken or rabbit as well as soft fillet of poultry or fish. Furthermore, you can chop any products into tiny crumbs or even turn fish or meat fillet into minced meat. However, never use this knife for cutting bones.
Gourmet handles have ideal ergonomics with special recesses and are very comfortable to use. There is a red Wusthof logo on the left side of the handle.
As for the Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 model, it can boast a compact, black-colored handle made of polyoxymethylene. Polyoxymethylene is a premium-quality plastic that is used for much more expensive Wusthof series. This material remains hygienic and ensures a firm grip even if you hold it in wet hands. I have tested this feature myself by slicing vegetables while holding this knife in a damp hand, and I must admit I didn’t feel any discomfort working this way.
Polyoxymethylene not only ensures a reliable grip but also feels warm and pleasant by touch. That’s the main reason why I prefer plastic handles over metallic ones. The handle pads are securely attached by three metal rivets, but you never feel them under your fingers. The surface is flat and smooth. This Santoku knife doesn’t have a counterweight on the handle butt, instead, there is a curved hand guard or finger stop which is responsible for reliable grip and prevents finger injury. When I work with my Wusthof Santoku knife I never fear to cut my fingers instead of food items since it feels sitting so reliably in my hand.
Wusthof Gourmet 4188/17 knife costs less than $90, excluding delivery costs. In my humble opinion, that’s a totally fair price for a high-quality blade made by a reputable brand. Obviously, forged knives belong to premium class products, and their quality is even higher. But on the other hand, due to laser cut technology, we get lighter and less expensive knives, just perfect for home use. Besides, laser-cut knives are much safer to use for kids and the elderly since such blades bring fewer risks of injuries, especially if they drop down from the countertop.
To summarize, if you decide to buy Wusthof Gourmet Santoku cook’s knife, you’ll get a hollow-edged, durable, razor-sharp, lightweight, easy to hone blade which will serve you for many years. All in all, it’s the best Santoku knife for less than 100$.
Pros and Cons
- Made in Germany
- Reliable and durable chrome molybdenum vanadium steel
- Hollow edge
- Straightforward to hone manually
- Premium-quality handle materials
- Reliable construction
- Modest design
- Poor packaging
- Stamped blade
- The small slope of the cutting edge
➋ Wusthof Silverpoint 4180 – Best Price
Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 is a high-quality yet affordable Santoku knife. Santoku is a traditional Japanese cutting tool suitable for 3 main tasks: slicing, dicing, and micing. Wusthof Silverpoint series is created with a user’s comfort in mind, cooks need a minimum of effort to care about these cutting tools. What I like the most about Silverpoint knives is the combination of reasonable price and maximum quality. I cherish all my Wusthof knives since this reputable brand with more than 200-year history only offers premium class products.
The 4180/17 model is produced using the latest state of the art laser technology, making it more suitable for a home kitchen rather than a professional one. However, the construction of this knife is not cheap, it was built to last. This Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 review is based on my own usage experience. Here, I’ll explain all advantages and drawbacks of the 4180/17 model so that you can understand whether it meets all your needs.
- Series – Silverpoint
- Blade length – 6.7 inches (17 cm)
- Type – stamped
- Blade material – stainless steel
- Steel grade – X46Cr13
- Synthetic handle made of polypropylene
- Made in Solingen, Germany
Speaking of the Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 design, everybody admits that it’s rather minimalistic, if not mediocre. When you take this knife in hand, it won’t feel like a premium-class item. But let’s remember that a manufacturer has intended to create an affordable yet functional cutting tool, not a luxurious interior element. That’s why a Silverpoint knife looks just like an instrument in your kitchen, it has nothing in common with surfaces and forms. However, a silver-colored logo on the left side of the blade hints about the knife’s true value.
Besides, knowing the price of this blade, nobody will even expect a rich design.
If you want to buy a Santoku knife with a more attractive appearance, consider Grand Prix II or other Wusthof series. The knives may have similar designs, but when you take instruments in hand and compare them, you realize that they belong to different leagues. Unfortunately, for some choosy chefs, the Silverpoint knife might feel like a Chinese “disposable” stuff. However, it’s a totally unfair judgment! As I mentioned above, although the blade is stamped, it still can boast high quality and is ideal for home use. All in all, Wusthof is capable of producing great, low cost cutting tools.
In my humble opinion, the company has met the challenges and managed to pair acceptable design and good quality for as little money as possible. Therefore, I recommend you forget about the appearance of your 4180/17 model and focus on the blade reliability and overall convenience. Obviously, it won’t attract your guests’ attention but will last for a lifetime.
Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 features a 7’’ cutting edge without hollows. The blade is made of one piece of martensitic stainless steel with a high content of carbon, making it razor-sharp, easily restorable, and ultimately lightweight (only 0.2 lbs). The steel grade is X46Cr13, where:
- X means that it’s made of alloyed steel that includes additional chemical components, like chrome, that improve the overall blade’s characteristics.
- 46 indicates that the composition contains 0.46 percent of the carbon that moulds iron into steel.
- Cr – chrome, the additional chemical component.
- The number 13 indicates how much chrome the composition contains. Chrome increases corrosion and rust resistance.
Compared to other Wusthof knives made of chrome molybdenum vanadium steel, our 4180/17 model with X46Cr13 steel grade contains fewer alloying elements and less carbon. It makes the blade thinner and softer but still sharp and easily restorable. Obviously, you’ll have to sharpen your Silverpoint knife more frequently than forged Wusthof cutting instruments. However, the hand honing process is straightforward, and therefore, you will end up with the same sharp cutting tool as when you first picked it up. I spend a lot of time cooking, so in my case, I applied honing once per 2-3 weeks to keep the cutting edge extra sharp. On top of that, blades with X46Cr13 steel grade have a lower cost.
I do appreciate that all Wusthof knives, including the Silverpoint series, feature a full-tang blade. It means that the blade runs through the entire handle, making the knife solid and durable. The absence of the bolster and lowered tip allow using the whole cutting edge while chopping food items. Due to this feature, you’ll get thin and neat slices.
The thing I would improve in this Silverpoint knife is its completely straight cutting edge. To my mind, a Santoku with a sloping cutting surface would be more efficient since I could use a larger degree of diapason to slice vegetables, sausages, or fish. The blade is 1.6 inches (4.4 cm) wide, this is a standard size for a compact Santoku knife, that’s why you’ll easily get used to it. While the 4180/17 model is too lightweight to manage tough and large meat pieces, it’s perfect for slicing the thinnest fish fillets, or chopping vegetables and greens.
Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 has a black plastic handle, making it practical day-to-day. The handle length is 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) long, it’s lightweight yet solid. Made from polypropylene, the handle provides a good grip but only in dry hands. I wouldn’t grab this knife with wet hands since it might slip out of the palm and cause injury. Polypropylene ensures that the handle’s structure will remain in a good condition and won’t lose its initial appearance for several years if you use it in a home kitchen.
Furthermore, the handle features a quite ergonomic design. It’s curved on the top so that you can comfortably hold it while performing small cooking tasks. The knife fits a simple traditional grip most of us are accustomed to. However, it may be tiring to manipulate this model for several hours in a row because you are stuck to a single grip. To summarise, as long as you use Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 in your home kitchen, it’s a brilliant instrument. But if you need a knife for professional purposes and want it to serve for longer than 5 years, you should opt for other Wusthof series that offer more reliable and convenient handles and blades.
My Wusthof Silverpoint 4180/17 review won’t be complete without mentioning the knife’s price. It costs about $30, excluding the delivery cost. This is the cheapest Santoku knife from the Wusthof series, making it a great offer. Personally, I consider this price totally fair. Although this knife is only suitable for home use or inexperienced gastronomy enthusiasts, you still invest in a product of a high quality that will serve you for many years. Here is what the official Wusthof catalog tells, “The Silverpoint knives are produced from stainless steel using a precision laser. Utilizing our tried and tested technical know-how gained from over 200 years of Wusthof experience, they are then processed into sturdy starter knives for young cooks.”
Pros and Cons
- Made in Solingen, Germany
- Easy to hone manually
- Convenient grip
- Mediocre design
- Plain packaging
- Stamped blade
- Cheap handle material
- Small cutting edge sloping