Wusthof Classic vs Gourmet Knife
When I decided to upgrade my dull, basic knife collection to an iconic Wusthof collection, I found myself stuck between the Wusthof gourmet versus classic knife sets. At first glance, the number of knives in either collection was overwhelming for a novice such as myself. I simply thought there was no way I would need all these different knives.
However, as I delved deeper into my own cooking adventures, I realized that high-quality, durable knives are a kitchen must-have that will reward any user with a safe, enjoyable cooking experience. They are also essential investments to hone your knife skills and enhance any meal you make for yourself or for others.
Our Wusthof Classic vs Gourmet Review examines two of the top knife lines designed by the legendary Wusthof knife company that will help you better your skill and efficiency in the kitchen.
This Classic Wusthof knife set provides one of Wusthof?s best selling collection.
This seven-piece set comes with: a 3.5-inch paring knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 6-inch Kiritsuke Prep Knife, 8-inch bread knife, 8-inch Chef?s knife, come-apart Kitchen Shears, and a 6 Slot Slim Design Wood Knife Block.
This knife set provides the exact tools that everyone needs in their kitchen to become a well-skilled chef. Before you know it, you will find yourself prepared to make more and more elaborate meals and even become a knife aficionado yourself.
The Knife Break-Down
The 8-inch Chef?s knife is the first kitchen must-have. It is perfect for effortlessly slicing large cuts of meat and chopping vegetables. The 3.5-inch paring knife is like a miniature Chef?s knife that is great for more intricate, precise work, like peeling fruit and vegetables, deveining shrimp or making garnishes. A serrated utility knife is ideal for cutting through frutis and veggies without tearing them and works for slicing bagels and sandwiches as well. The bread knife slices through bread without crushing it.
The kiritsuke prep knife is a more traditional Japanese blade that is unique for its almost sword-like shape. It can be used to effortlessly slice through fish and vegetables. Lastly kitchen shears are everyone?s unexpected kitchen necessity. They are essentiall glorified scissors, but they are a gem for quickly cutting herbs, opening food packaging, deboning poultry, jar openers, shell crackers and more. Lastly, the Wusthof Classic set of seven knives comes in a 6-slot ultra-slim design that maximizes your counter space.
With Wusthof knives, you do not need to worry about working harder with a flimsy, unbalanced knife. As we mentioned above, each knife is forged with precision in mind. In each knife, you will find Wusthof?s special high-carbon, stainless steel that is heat-treated and molded through a comprehensive 40-step process. The result is a hard, thick blade with a bolster, which is a thick lip that connects the blade to the handle, that enhances the knife?s balance and also protects your hand from slipping.
Each Classic knife is also constructed as a full tang knife. A full tang knife means that the entire knife is constructed in one piece, extending all the way through the handles, and the handles are pinned to each side of the blade. As such, the knife is more stable and less likely to separate or break off.
Primed for Precision & Durability
Each knife in this classic set is also designed to ease slicing and cutting. There is no need for rough back and forth dragging with Wusthof because Wusthof blade has a 14- degree angle on its cutting edge to ensure that your cutting is effortless. This classic Wusthof knife set also promises to last twice as long as your regular knife sets because of its Precision Edge Technology. The Precision Edge Technology or PEtech utilizes computer accuracy to exactly cut precise sharpening angles for each of their blade to increase the knives? precision, sharpness longevity, and consistency from tip to heel.
In addition to its stainless-steel construction, its traditional triple-riveted handle is extremely durable. It is constructed out of Polyoxymethyleme or POM, which is a synthetic material that resists discoloration. Overall, this knife set will not rust and will last you years. Moreover, it makes cutting and slicing so breezy and effortless, you might find yourself cooking more or buying more food just to use them.
This premium Wusthof Classic set?s sleek and no-frills design is more geared towards an experienced chef. With a lifetime warranty, this stylish knife set combines fantastic performance with low maintenance requirements that make it one of the top knife brands and collections in the market.
Pros & Cons
- The knife set is comprehensive and well-stocked for the basic kitchen needs.
- The knives are extremely sharp and help effortlessly cut food.
- The knives have a full tang that stretch all the way down to the bottom of the handle.
- Each of the knives have a decent weight to them and are well-balanced.
- The knife block is sleek, stylish, and compact.
- Some users found that the knife block was not that much slimmer than the original knife block.
- Some users also found that their knife blocks were not well constructed so you might want to consider it before buying.
- If you are not well versed in knife handling, you may need to buy protective gloves. The sharpness can be dangerous if you are not familiar with using knives regularly.
Wusthof Gourmet ? Different, but also great
The Wusthof gourmet knife set features the familiar high quality of Wusthof knives, but with a few additions and differences. This knife set features more kitchen essentials than the Classic series. With this ten-piece knife set, you will see some familiar knives from the Classic set, such as a paring knife, a serrated utility knife, a Chef?s knife, a bread knife and a pair of come apart kitchen shears.
A difference between Wusthof classic and gourmet sets is that rather than having the kiritsuke prep knife, the gourmet set includes a 2.25-inch peeling knife, a 4.5-inch utility knife, a 5-inch spreader, and a 9-inch steel sharpening tool, which is a vital tool to keep your knives sharp. All of these knives and tools come with a 13-slot block that is not as sleek or space-friendly as the seven-piece knife set.
Same High Quality
A Wusthof knife comparison shows how Wusthof maintains its standard of high-quality design foundations in the Gourmet line. The Wusthof gourmet knife sets still utilize the same high-carbon stainless steel that will not rust or stain. The Gourmet line knives also feature the the POM, highly-durable synthetic handles that are not prone to fading or discoloration. Also, the gourmet knives? edges are still cut by Wusthof?s highly advanced PEtech, so they still perfrom a beautiful job of cutting through meat and vegetables like butter.
Different, But Still Good
However, a Wusthof knife comparison also shows that while the gourmet knife set shares the same qualities of the classic series, there are a few details that highlight the difference between the Wusthof classic and gourmet sets. First, although the gourmet knife set is still durable and made with the same precise cutting-edge technology as the classic knives, the gourmet knives are stamped rather than forged.
Whereas the forged knives are put through a 40-step process where they are heat-treated and pounded before being cut, the gourmet knives only go through a 14-step process in which they are cut from a large piece of steel, much like how a cookie is made with a cookie cutter.
The forging process makes the Classic knives a bit heavier, sturdier, and more resilient due to the treatment process that essentially transforms the molecular structure of the steel. The lack of such treatment on the gourmet knives makes them more lightweight and flexible. However, the stamping technique also means the knife has an equal thickness all the way down without a bolster to further balance out the knife or protect your grip.
Also, while the classic knife set features a 14-degree cutting edge, the gourmet knives have an 18-degree cutting edge. The ideal edge angle for knives fall between 14?20 degrees so this means that the gourmet knives are still high-performing and durable. Furthermore, they can also be sharpened to a more desirable sharpness.
The third difference is that the gourmet knives are not completely full tang. The gourmet knives only have the full tang feature if the blade is 4.5 inches or longer. This presents the potential that the blade can break away from the handle if applied or used with too much force, which is a potential danger.
The Gourmet set seems more suited for the more casual cook. The lighter weight might make them easier to maneuver for the more novice cook, despite the obvious lack of balance. However, the gourmet knives are still made with the same high-quality materials as the Classic set and can still deliver as a reliable set of durable, sharp knives supported by a legendary German cutlery brand.
Pros & Cons
- The gourmet knives are a light weight and more flexible.
- This set provides home chefs with every knife they might need and a little extra.
- They still maintain the same cutting and slicing quality of the Classic set.
- Stamped knives tend to be a bit flimsier than forged and may not last too long.
- Stamped knives also run the risk of not being even all across the blade. You may find bumps or irregularities along the blade.
- Because they are not forged, the stamping out method can cause uneven thickness throughout the knives.
- There is no bolster to maintain balance or to protect your grip.
- The lack of tang across the entire length of the knife makes it more likely that the knife can break off the handle.
- Some users shared that the gourmet knives feel cheaper in their hands and do not look as sleek and attractive as the Classic set.
Let?s Learn about the Brand Wusthof
Established in Solingen, Germany, the city hailed for producing the world?s finest cutlery, the Wusthof knife company is a seven generation, family-owned and managed company that goes back to the 1800s. Wusthof has dominated knife sales around the world for almost fifty years and with good reason. Each Wusthof knife is designed with high-quality materials, superior craftsmanship, and branded with the company?s core values: passion, diligence, and perfection.
However, there is more to a knife than just a brand name. It is the design that speaks volumes. Most conventional knifeware contain imperfections that decrease the blade?s overall performance, sharpness, longevity, and quality. The best knives are durable, sharp and well-balanced, and fortunately, Wusthof reaches the same standards with their products. They truly speak to their values, which has led the company to design a knife that is one of the most well-known, trusted, and sought-after designs in the kitchen world.
Designed with optimal precision in mind, each Wusthof knife features high-carbon stainless steel and enhancements that ensure the blade is more refined and long-lasting. Specifically, each blade contains a mix of the following:
- Stainless steel is the core material that is the ideal material for most kitchenware.
- Carbon adds hardness to the blade.
- Molybdenum resists corrosion and also adds hardness.
- Chromium makes the blade stain resistant.
- Vanadium improves durabitliy.
All of Wusthof?s knives are measures to a 58 HRC or Rockwell Hardness, which is essentially a hardness scale that determines hardness by measuring depth of penetration of an indentation made by an object. Meanwhile, Wusthof utilizes Precision Edge Technology or PEtec to increase blade sharpness by 20%.
The PEtec produces a more refined edge to the knife by using a computer to accurately measure the sharpening angle before precision robots sharpen the knife on a whetstone. This also means that Wusthof knives will last twice as long as other standard kitchen knives. PEtec also ensures that the same qualities are able to be reproduced consistently and that the refined cutting edge remains consistent and even all the way down the length of the blade.
Wusthof?s consistency and passion for sleek and strong knife design is also bolstered by the fact that Wusthof is also an environmentally aware company with sustainable practices. They pay great attention to the relationship between ecology and economy, understanding that both have an important impact on their business. Each of Wusthof?s production facilities in Solingen are optimized to increase energy efficiency and to increase the use of raw materials. They are mindful of their waste and ensure that their production methods limit wastewater contamination and CO2 and other gas emissions.
Wusthof utilizes air and water and an extensive filter system to keep their facilities clean. As of now, they are concentrating on recovering heat from the production process and limiting noise emissions. Wusthof ensures that their knives are produced to the highest standards using methods that are safe and give back to the environment rather than take. Wusthof pursues excellence throughout every aspect of their prouction process. For them, there is no negotiating or sacrificing quality for quick, easy, and cheap production.
Wusthof offers a variety of knife styles and collections, and it can be difficult to decide which model or line is perfect for you. But the two lines that stand out the most and that are of interest to us today is the classic and gourmet lines. Both lines offer the same high-quality, durability of Wusthof, but they do differ on some details that we will review below.
When it comes down to picking your ideal knife set, if is important to keep in mind what you really need. The Classic line exemplifies a more professional design that guarantees superiority in every aspect of cooking. This line might be well-suited for a seasoned chef or if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
On the other hand, the Gourmet line sacrifices some of the balance and weight for little more ease for the more novice, everyday chef. So, if the kitchen is a little out of your comfort zone, the gourmet line can still provide a decent amount of reliability and durability.
Either way, both lines still boast Wusthof?s top-notch high-carbon steel design and durable polymer handles. Both are backed by the reputation of Wusthof, a reliable source for authentic German knives that have centuries of expertise bolstering its design, but no matter what you choose you are in good company.
Whether you are on the market for a long-lasting knife set or you are looking to expand your knife skills, we encourage you to consider our Wusthof Classic vs Gourmet comparison to see which of these high-quality knife sets could upgrade your kitchen experience.