Wusthof Knives Review. Are They Worth The Money?

Wusthof Knives Review

Anyone familiar with German knives knows the name, Wusthof. Considered one of the finest, high-quality brand names in the business.

After moving into my new home several months ago, I decided to upgrade my knife collection to a versatile and trusted set, and Wusthof was the first brand to come to mind.

Since I had already been in the market, I thought I would review a selection of Wusthof sets and determined that the Classic 11-Piece Knife Block Set was the best set for most home kitchens. This set features a versatile range of high-quality knives, each with a high carbon, stainless steel blade sharpened to perfection.

Continue reading our Wusthof Knives Review to discover a larger range of knife sets. Everything from low-price starter sets all the way up to collections suitable for professional chefs.

Wusthof Background

​​Wusthof opened its doors in 1814 and currently produces 1.7 million knives per year, all of which are made in Solingen, Germany.

It takes approximately 40 production steps before any knife can feature the brand’s logo, which has become a symbol of exclusivity amongst professional chefs around the world. Currently, ​​Wusthof has over 350 forged knives available with a range of knife blocks, chopping boards, scissors, and kitchen utensils.

Why Their Products Are So Good

  • Their knives don’t need sharpening for an average of six months
  • The brand offers a lifetime guarantee 
  • The blades are made of 6 different metals (X50CrMoV15 stainless steel) to remain rust and corrosion resistant
  • All knives are full tang, which means they are made of one piece of metal that extends to the end of the handle

The Difference Between The Gourmet, Classic, and Classic IKON Product Lines

Although Wusthof offers 7 different product lines, I decided to focus on their 3 most popular models. 

The Gourmet lines represent the high-end of their stamped knives. Similar to the other offerings except they’re manufactured using a stamping process rather than the more expensive forging process which keeps the prices more affordable and the knives lighter in weight.

The Classic and Classic IKON knives both have forged blades for higher performance and strength.  Both are designed with handles of durable synthetic, wood-like material with a distinctive curve that generally makes them more ergonomic and comfortable to hold. 

The Classic knife offers a full bolster for safety while the Classic IKON line has a half bolster which allows sharpening the full length of the blade easier and extra weight added to the butt of the knife for perfect balance and precision when chopping. 

Chef Slicing Pepper

Product Reviews

Let’s take a look at the best Wusthof knife sets you can buy right now.

Best Overall: Classic 11-Piece Knife Block Set

The Classic 11-Piece Set features a full-tang, triple-riveted synthetic handle. This design helps to minimize fading, discoloration, and the effects of heat and impact.

Most importantly, each knife is forged from high-carbon stainless steel and has a blade that’s 20% sharper than previous models. This set is the perfect solution for just about any home chef. It’s not cheap but quality like this never is.

Set includes:

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  • 2 3/4″ trimming
  • 3 1/2″ paring
  • 4 1/2″ utility
  • 4 1/2″ Asian utility
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 6″ utility 
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • 9″ honing steel
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 17-slot block

Pros

  • Includes a great selection of knives
  • Resistant to heat, impact, fading, and discoloration
  • Forged blades for edge retention and strength 

Cons

  • Wood knife block might attract bacteria
  • Expensive

Budget: Gourmet 7-Piece Knife Block Set 

If you’re on a tight budget but still insist on quality, you can’t go wrong with the Gourmet 7-Piece Set. This starter set offers all the versatility you need to chop and dice your way to a culinary masterpiece. 

The only thing I might add would be a bread knife. But, since the block comes with 2 extra slots you can always add a bread knife at a later date.

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Set includes:

  • 3″ spear point paring
  • 4 1/2″ utility
  • 6″ serrated utility
  • 6″ chef’s
  • 9″ honing steel
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 9-slot block

Pros

  • Quality at a reasonable price
  • Minimal yet versatile selection of knives
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Steel feels thinner than forged blades 

Budget: Gourmet 16-Piece Knife Block Set 

A larger collection than the 7-piece version, the Gourmet 16-Piece Set includes just about every knife an amateur chef would need. 

Although not essential in a starter set, it’s nice to see a full-size 8” chef’s knife (unlike the 6” version in the 7-piece set) included for larger jobs.

With a lightweight design, these knives are perfect for beginners in the kitchen. 

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Set includes:

  • 2 1/2″ paring
  • 2 ¾” trimming
  • 3″ spear point paring
  • 2 ¼” peeling
  • 4 ½” utility
  • Four 4 ½” steak
  • 5″ santoku
  • 5″ spreader
  • 8” bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • 9″ honing steel
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 15-slot acacia block.

Pros

  • Full tang provides the right balance of weight and balance 
  • Reasonably priced
  • Lightweight design makes them perfect for beginners 

Cons

  • Knives might be too lightweight for some users

Budget Alternative: Mercer Culinary 8-Piece Set

The Mercer Culinary 8-Piece Set provides all the essential knives to kit out your kitchen.

This set’s presentation board beautifully displays the knives, while the magnetic design offers an easy way to attach the knives at the end of prep.

Mercer may not have the same prestige as Wusthof and is manufactured in Taiwan, not Germany but that’s not all bad. With lower manufacturing costs, you get forged knives at bargain pricing.

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Set includes:

  • 3 1/2″ paring
  • 6″ stiff boning
  • 7″ fillet
  • 7″ Granton edge santoku
  • 8″ chef’s
  • 8″ serrated bread
  • 10″ carving
  • Magnetic knife board on a stand. 

 Pros

  • Luxury display
  • Magnetic design makes it easy to attach the knives
  • Forged blades

Cons

  • Board w/ knives may be too tall for some kitchen cabinets
  • Made in Taiwan

Home Chef: Classic 7-Piece Slim Knife Set

Satisfy your cooking needs with the Classic 7-Piece Slim Set. This set offers all of the essentials for prep without taking up much space on your countertop.

Thanks to the razor-sharp, forged blades, this 7-piece collection is the ideal minimal set. Featuring, a full tang for strength, a full bolster for safety, and a high-carbon stainless steel blade for precision performance, this set really stands out from the competition. Not to mention, the PEtec 14° edge enhances sharpness, making the blades last longer.

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Set includes:

  • 3 1/2″ paring
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 6″ prep
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 6-slot acacia knife block

Pros

  • Slim block takes up minimal space on countertops 
  • Incredible quality materials and construction
  • Weighty substantial feel

Cons

  • Expensive

Home Chef: Classic 11-Piece Knife Block Set 

There’s virtually nothing missing from the Classic 11-Piece Set. That’s why I feel this is the best set for most people. It’s a perfect balance of craftsmanship and value. That’s why the Classic line of knives is Wusthof’s best-selling series. 

The list of features is impressive. Forged from a single block of high-carbon steel, incredibly sharp edge, unparalleled edge retention, full tang, full bolster, beautifully balanced, and a lifetime warranty. Expensive? Yes. But with proper care, this might be the last set you ever buy.

Furthermore, the selection of knives is exactly what I would want. Personally, if I was shopping for an 11 -piece knife set, I would want 11 unique tools that perform 11 different tasks. I don’t want 4 steak knives in the mix. That’s why this set is so special. However, if you want to buy 4 steak knives at least the block has the extra slots to handle them.

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Set includes:

  • 2 3/4″ trimming
  • 3 1/2″ paring
  • 4 1/2″ utility
  • 4 1/2″ Asian utility
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 6″ utility
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • 9″ honing steel
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 17-slot acacia block

Pros

  • Quality that’s worth every penny
  • Includes a selection of knives for all kitchen tasks
  • Sharp edges that stay sharp

Cons

  • Expensive

Home Chef: Classic 16-Piece Knife Block Set

Very similar to the 11-piece (above) the Classic 16-Piece Set also includes six 4 ½” steak knives. Like the other Classic sets, this collection has all the same features including a 14-degree blade angle on each side for exceptional sharpness. This angle reduces any drag when slicing through foods. Moreover, the 58 Rockwell Hardness rating also enhances the overall durability. If steak knives are on your wish list, look no further.

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Set includes:

  • 3 1/2″ paring
  • 4 1/2″ utility
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 5″ hollow edge Santoku
  • 8″ bread
  • 8” hollow edge offset carving/slicing
  • 8″ chef’s
  • Six 4 ½” steak
  • 9″ honing steel
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 17-slot acacia block

Pros

  • Ideal set for meat-eaters
  • Great selection of knives
  • Excellent quality

Cons

  • Expensive

Home Chef Alternative: Zwilling Pro 16-Piece Block Set

Zwilling (J.A. Henckels) is another popular and well-respected 280-year-old German brand that rivals Wusthof for quality. The Zwilling Pro 16-Piece Block Set is essentially equivalent to the Wusthof Classic 16-Piece Set

Each knife has a full tang with a curved bolster, which provides solid grip and balance. The unique curved bolster supports using a pinch grip preferred by professional chefs.

In addition, each forged blade has a 57 Rockwell Hardness rating and a 15-degree blade angle to deliver incredible cutting performance with plenty of precision. If you’re shopping for a 16-piece set, the Zwilling is another great choice.

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Set includes:

  • 3″ paring
  • 4″ paring
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 5.5″ prep
  • 7″ santoku
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • Six 4.5″ fine-edge steak
  • Shears
  • Sharpening steel
  • 16-slot hardwood block.

Pros

  • Includes a huge range of versatile knives
  • 15-degree blade angle offers outstanding precision
  • Blades are corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • Expensive

Professional Chef: Classic IKON 7-Piece Slim 

The Classic IKON series is Wushof’s professional line of knives. Similar in design to the Classic series but with a few added features that working chefs prefer. The Classic IKON 7-Piece Slim has an array of knives for all the basic essentials in the kitchen. 

An impressive feature of this set is the spare slots that accommodate additional knives. Another characteristic we love is the rounded handle, which has an upgraded design for maximum comfort while you’re chopping.

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Set includes:

  • 3.5″ paring
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 5″ hollow edge santoku
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 6-slot acacia knife block

Pros 

  • Block includes extra slots for additional knives
  • Handles are rounded and ergonomic to accommodate all hand sizes 
  • Added bolster on the handle provides excellent balance 

Cons

  • Shortened bolster might cause fears of hurting yourself

Professional Chef: Classic IKON 10-Piece Set 

The Classic IKON 10-Piece Set offers a half bolster for easier sharpening of the entire blade length, and the elegant contoured handles have a weighted heel for better comfort and balance.

Each knife also has a 58 Rockwell Hardness rating and a 14-degree blade angle on each side to provide superior edge sharpness. 

If you want the very best. This is it.

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Set includes:

  • 3.5″ paring
  • 4.5″ utility
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 7″ hollow-edge Santoku
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ hollow-edge carving
  • 8″ chef’s
  • 9″ honing steel with brushed stainless handle
  • Come-apart kitchen shears
  • 17-slot acacia knife block.

Pros

  • Delivers perfect handling and balance
  • Professional grade design
  • Ergonomic handle minimizes fatigue during long prep sessions

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • May be overkill for home chefs

Professional Chef: Classic IKON 16-Piece Set

The Classic IKON 16-Piece Set is almost identical to the Classic IKON 10-Piece Set except it includes an additional utility knife, paring knife, and 4 steak knives. At these prices, I feel you’re paying a lot more for 6 non-critical knives, but only you can make that decision.

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Set includes:

  • 3″ straight paring
  • 3.5″ paring
  • 4.5″ utility
  • 5″ serrated utility
  • 6″ utility
  • 7″ hollow edge santoku
  • 8″ bread
  • 8″ chef’s
  • 9″ hollow-edge carving
  • four 4.5″ steak
  • 9″ honing steel with brushed stainless handle
  • come-apart kitchen shears
  • 15-slot acacia knife block

Pros

  • Unparalleled quality
  • Beautifully contoured handles are weighted for perfect balance
  • Professional level design

Cons

  • Some might prefer a lighter handle
  • Very expensive

Professional Chef Alternative: Messermeister Olivia Elite 11-Piece Block Set

Finally, we have the Messermeister Olivia Elite 11-Piece Block Set. Messermeister is a relatively new company, founded in 1981, and is women-owned. 

This professional chef set consists of 15-degree handcrafted blades that, along with the bolster and tang are one-piece and hammer-forged in Solingen, Germany. The Italian olive wood handles really set them apart from the competition. Just beautiful. You’ll love the detail of the angled knife block, which looks presentable on any kitchen counter. If you’re looking for a high-quality set with a unique style, the Messermeister Olivia Elite 11-Piece is a great choice.

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Set includes:

  • 8″ stealth chef’s
  • 9″ scalloped bread
  • 7″ kullenschliff santoku
  • 6″ flexible boning
  • 6″ utility
  • 3 1/2″ paring
  • four 4.5″ fine-edge steak
  • knife block

Pros

  • Knife block has a unique angled design
  • 15-degree blades are sharp and easy to maintain
  • Beautiful Mediterranean olive wood handles add character

Cons

  • Wood handles can be more difficult to clean and keep bacteria-free

Related: 5 Easy Methods For How To Sharpen A Knife

Buyer’s Guide

Before you plunge into buying a set of knives, there are some important factors you’ll want to consider first. Here’s a breakdown of the more important features to consider. If you need help with some of the terms, this guide will come in handy.

Types of Knives

There’s no shortage of specialized knives for the kitchen. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types.

wusthof knives review assortment

Chef Knife

If you could only have one type of knife in your kitchen, a Chef knife is the way to go. Chef knives have deep, curved blades that range in length from 8 to 12 inches, making them suitable for a variety of chopping tasks. This single knife can be used to cut onions, fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Utility Knife

The knife blade is narrow and precise, making it perfect for peeling, carving, and slicing fruits and vegetables. It is smaller than a chef knife. Normally offered in lengths between 4 and 9 inches.

Paring Knife

Similar in use to a utility knife, these are ideal for jobs like peeling and chopping up fruits and vegetables because they are only 2.5 to 4 inches long. They have an extremely precise tip as well. ideal for more delicate tasks.

Bread Knife

These knives’ long, straight blades have a serrated edge that allows you to cut through bakery items like cake, bagels, and bread. They’re also great for cutting large fruit like pineapples.

Carving Knife

Similar to a Chef’s knife, carving knives tend to be a bit longer and narrower to minimize drag while cutting through food. Carving knives are available from 8–12 inches.

Cleaver

A cleaver is designed specifically for chopping. The heavy, rectangular blade is made to easily cut large slabs of meat, joints, and bone. Plus, it can handle harder veggies like sweet potatoes and squash. 

Steak Knife

The blade of a steak knife normally measures 4.5 inches. These knives also have a fine edge that makes it simple to cut through large pieces of, you guessed it, steak.

Fileting Knife

A filleting knife is made specifically for fish and is similar to a boning knife but with a thinner, more flexible blade. It’s ideal for the challenging task of extracting the delicate flesh from the bones.

Boning Knife

A boning knife has a blade with a thin profile and a pointed tip. Fish and poultry may have their meat removed more easily with this design. Even separating meat from bones is possible. Boning knives are typically available in 3-6 inch lengths.

Santoku

The santoku knife is a wonderful alternative to a chef knife for precision cutting, mincing, and dicing because of its straight edges and drop-point tip. The broad blade can be used to gather food after cutting and transfer it to pans or containers.

Santoku Knife

Nakiri

The nakiri, which resembles a cross between a chef knife and a cleaver, is only used for cutting vegetables. A single chopping motion is used as opposed to rocking the blade like you would with a chef knife. It can be used to pick up and move diced or chopped vegetables, just like the santoku.

Blade Material

The material of the blade is the most critical element of a knife. High-carbon stainless steel is used in the best knives to provide durability and keep a sharp edge. Additionally, this material resists stains and corrosion.

Forged vs. Stamped

One single bar of steel is used to create a forged knife, which is then heated and shaped using hammers. They are generally more expensive but will be more durable and maintain their edge longer. Stamped knives are lighter and typically less expensive than forged knives, but they could be less durable because they are cut from sheets of steel.

Handle Design

Knife handles are available in a variety of shapes and features. Here are some to look out for to help choose the best one for you.

wusthof knives review cuttingboard
Full bolster (Top), half bolster (Middle)

Full Bolster

A full bolster is best for preventing finger slippage and possible injury. However, a drawback of full bolster knives is that you won’t be able to use the entire length of the blade, which could make sharpening the knife more challenging.

Half Bolster

If you want to be able to use the entire length of the blade, you might want to think about these knives. Additionally, they reduce slips to safeguard your fingertips when chopping ingredients. These are a compromise between a full bolster and no bolster. 

No Bolster

Lastly, if you’re searching for strength and longevity, these knives might not be the best choice. These kitchen knives are easy to sharpen and can be used throughout their entire length. 

Handle Material

Handle are generally available in three materials.

Wood

Avoid using a wooden handle since it will break easily and is a breeding ground for bacteria. The comfort a wood handle offers is one advantage, despite the fact that they frequently warp and are not particularly moisture-resistant. Pakkawood, which is actually a blend of wood and resin, is the lone exception.

Stainless Steel

A stainless steel handle is simple to maintain, highly sturdy, and will last for many years. But if you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t suggest using this material because it can be very slippery when wet, which increases your risk of injury. 

Plastic

Finally, a dishwasher-safe plastic handle provides a slip-resistant grip. It can be less durable than wood and stainless steel, though, because this material is simpler to damage. Speaking of dishwashers, all high-quality kitchen knives should always be hand washed with warm water and immediately dried to maintain performance.

Weight

More stability will be provided by a heavier knife than a lighter one. Cutting is also made simpler by the extra weight. However, if you’re a beginner and seeking greater control and dexterity, you might prefer a lighter knife.

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Conclusion

Overall, the Wusthof Classic 11-Piece Set is the winning knife set for many reasons. For starters, it has all of the essential knives most home chefs need without any excess. And, although it’s a bit pricey, considering the quality, it still provides a lot of value. 

Order it for yourself, or gift it to a foodie in your life.

Amy Poole

Amy Poole

Amy Poole is a kitchen and home freelance writer and editor with over four years of experience sharing her passion and knowledge of cooking with audiences around the world. Since switching to a plant-based diet in December 2020, she's constantly on the lookout for nutritious recipes and spends a lot of her spare time in the kitchen rustling up new dishes. Her staple cupboard food: hummus, pesto, and lots of nutritional yeast.

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