Wüsthof and Henckels are two of the most renowned and highly-dependable kitchen knife makers in the world. Both of their knives are of top quality. But when it comes to buying, Wüsthof vs Henckels- which one is the better choice?
Actually, it’s pretty hard to decide. Both the companies make knives that are well-balanced, extremely sharp, classily designed, and long-lasting. But quality is not the only variable while deciding to buy a knife.
Wüsthof Vs Henckels : Which One Is Affordable?
Wüsthof and Henckels produce different ranges of kitchen knife lines. However, their most popular and best-selling is the Classic line. Specifically, the Wüsthof Classic 8” Chef’s Knife and J.A. Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife have got the most selling and customer reviews on Amazon.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know to decide which knife to buy between these two. Let’s jump right in!
Wüsthof – Professional Chef’s First Choice
Johan Abraham Wüsthof founded Wüsthof in 1814. It is based in Solingen, Germany. Even after 200 years, it remains a family business and produces only in Solingen. Some of its knife lines are the classic series, classic Ikon, Gourmet, and more.
Wüsthof is an official partner of and supplier to the German and Japanese Chefs Associations. It supplies kitchen tools, especially the chef’s knife, to the national chef teams of both countries.
Consumer Reports (CR) has recognized Wüsthof’s Classic and Grand Prix series as top-rated knife series in November 2005.
Wüsthof Classic 8” Chef’s Knife
let’s discuss some of the Specifications and key features of Wüsthof knife to find out more about this amazing knife. Wüsthof works with world-famous chefs like Martha Stewart, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, James Martin, Michael Cox and Emeril Lagasse. All of them endorse and use Wüsthof knives.
1. Blade Material
The best thing about Wüsthof is that they don’t compromise in terms of materials for their product. They use an exceptional mix of premium-quality stainless steel, carbon, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium to make the blades of the Classic 8” Chef’s Knives.
This material is often known as German Stainless Steel because several other German knives manufacture uses the same material for their products.
Why do so many manufactures use this material? What is so special about it?
It’s about the balance between sturdiness and edge preservation.
If the steel is hard, it can retain its edge for a long period. But if the steel is too hard, the edge becomes prone to breaking and damaging.
Wüsthof Classic knife hardness is `about 58 on the Rockwell scale. That means the blade is tough enough to hold its edge for an extended time, but soft enough to survive anything that you may bring upon it.
2. Handle Material
Wüsthof uses Polyoxymethylene- a synthetic material, for the handles of their Classic knife series. It is known as POM for short.
Polyoxymethylene is extremely durable, hard, and resistant to discoloration/fading because it is arranged and built with a tight molecular structure. It can undergo frequent contact to moisture and high temperatures and remain sturdy and usable. This is just something you look for in a knife handle, don’t you?
POM is the ideal material for knife handles to provide high-end functionality and durability. The handle made out of POM is reliable and sturdy. Also, POM is non-porous, which is why bacteria and other germs can never infiltrate it, something you won’t get in wooden handles.
And of course, it’s easy to use, easy to clean and maintain, and unbreakable.
The only hitch is that it lacks the natural look of wooden handles. But that’s something you can make do without, can’t you?
Wüsthof sharpens the blade edge of the Classic chef’s knives at a 14-degree angle on each side, which is 28 degrees in total. An extremely sharp edge.
If you are someone who judges the sharpness of a knife by the way it cuts a tomato, then you can buy this knife without hesitation because these Classic chef’s knives can slice a tomato into slim pieces easily.
Yes, there are knives on the market with sharper edges. But a 28-degree edge is most favorable for both professional and domestic use. A knife with a too sharp edge may get frail and easily broken.
In contrast, Wusthof Classic knives are well-balanced as well as sharp enough to cut through tomatoes, meat and bones. Even after all the abuse, you may put it through, and it still is durable.
4. Edge Retention
What is the use of a sharp edge if it doesn’t remain sharp?
The use of PEtec technology (proprietary technology of Wusthof) ensures that Wusthof Classic knives have the top edge preservation in the market.
According to Wusthof, their Classic knives only need to be sharpened once or twice a year, that too if you use them regularly. All because of their high-quality steel and scrupulous manufacturing processes.
Balance and Stability
Another characteristic that will make you love Wusthof Classic knives is that they’re exceedingly well-balanced.
When you pick up the Classic Chef’s knife, you’ll feel that it’s thick, heavy, and solid. It gives you an instant feeling of stability and firmness.
You will find that the blade expands completely till the end of the handle. It is because Wusthof Classic knives are forged. It distributes the weight proportionally and gives you more control to handle it.
The part of the blade that runs through the handle is called the tang. A full tang is when the blade runs through the handle, like in Wusthof Classic knives. If it goes halfway through the handle, it is called a half tang.
Look at the picture below. See? You can hold the middle of the knife with two fingers, and it won’t tilt to one side or the other.
Wüsthof Classic 8” Chef’s Knife is safer than most for many reasons.
First of all, it has a full bolster. What is a bolster?
It is the wide part of the steel situated just between the blade and handle.
How does a bolster make a knife safe? By adding weight and balance, more importantly, protecting your hand from slipping onto the edge of the blade.
Secondly, remember the full tang that we talked about? It makes sure that the blade does not separate from the handle.
Last but not least, the butt end of the handles is curved downward so that your wet hand can’t slip from the knife.
Cleaning Wusthof Classic knives are very easy.
Just wash them in warm water and dish soap right after using them. Wipe and dry thoroughly.
Do not wash them in the dishwasher, as the blades can pound into other utensils and become damaged. Also, excessive heat and detergent may result in deterioration.
As Wusthof Classic knives are made of high-quality stainless steel and synthetic POM, they are guaranteed to bear heavy use for a long time. Durability is ensured.
And as a bonus, these knives come with a limited lifetime warranty.
So what happens when you receive a defective knife? Just send it back to Wusthof, and they will repair it or send you a new one free of charge.
What can be said about Wusthof Classic knives’ design? Simply elegant, don’t you think?
The distinct black handles contrast well with the glossy and silky steel blade.
On a closer look at the handle, you will be able to see the steel blade that expands and is exposed through the handle. That’s the tang.
The sharp curve at the butt end lets you rest your pinky finger. It provides comfort as well as safety.
The blade is thick and like many German knives, has a traditional western-style curvature. The smooth surface ends on a sharp point at the tip.
What we liked most:
- Sturdy and sharp
- Manoeuvrable and well-balanced
- Elegantly designed
- Sharpness remains for a long time.
- Triple-riveted handle
- Limited lifetime warranty.
What could be better:
- Not dishwasher safe
5 Best Wüsthof Knives
Henckels- Affordable With Effective Performance
Zwilling J. A. Henckels has been manufacturing knives for almost three centuries. It was founded by the German knife-maker Peter Henckels in 1731. It is also based in Solingen, Germany. Unlike Wüsthof, Henckels has spread its business outside of Germany, including the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, and more.
Henckels has got a royal warrant of appointment as suppliers of knives to the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria-Hungary. World-renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay are known to have liked and used this product.
J.A. Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife
In this section we are going to talk about some of the Specifications and key features of henkels knife. Because of its high-quality products, Henckels was awarded the Grand Prix prize in Paris in 1900 and the Grand Prix of St. Louis in 1904. Other awards include the Prussian State Golden Medal.
1. Blade Material
Henckels uses the same material as Wüsthof does for their Classic 6” Chef’s Knife- German Stainless Steel. The unique blend of high-quality steel, carbon, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium makes sure of the durability and edge retention of the knife.
The steel of Henckels blade contains high carbon content, making the blade both sharp and light. But there is a hitch to it. The high carbon content causes the blades a bit less durable.
The blades undergo a patented ice-hardening technique. So the blades become robust, elastic and resistant to damage.
The hardness of Henckels’ knives generally varies between 56 and 57 Rockwell scale. This makes the blade easy to hone. But there is a downside to the lower Rockwell scale. You may find yourself having to sharpen your Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife every once in a while.
2. Handle Material
A knife handle is one of the most important parts of a knife. A feature that defines a good knife is its handle which is comfortable to hold for a long time without causing strains. Henckels also believes in the same.
The handle of the Classic 6” Chef’s Knife is made of a polyoxyethylene (POM) material. So it is resistant to moisture and high temperatures. The full tang is attached to two scales with three rivets.
POM made handle is reliable, sturdy and non-porous, and you will never have to worry about bacteria and other germs infiltrating it. Also, it’s easy to use, clean and maintains, and unbreakable.
Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife is sharpened to 15 degrees on each side, which is 30 degrees in total. An exceedingly sharp edge that can slice a tomato into slim pieces with ease. These knives are well-balanced and sharp enough to cut through meat and bones easily.
Oh yes! It can take any hard time that you may put it through. Very much durable and favorable for professional and domestic use. And since Henckels does not use precision edge technology, its blade is less narrow than Wusthof.
4. Edge Retention
Though the blades are sharp enough, the sharpness does not remain for long because of the lower Rockwell scale. As we have said before, it may need frequent honing.
5. Balance And Stability
The main feature of this forged knife is that it has a bolster. The knife is comfortably balanced in your hand for the added weight this bolster provides. The knife is thick, heavy, and solid, which gives you a feeling of stability and firmness.
Another characteristic of forged knives- the presence of a full tang- is also present in Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife.
Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife is one of the safest knives out there.
The full bolster adds weight and balance and protects your hand from slipping onto the edge of the blade.
Also, there is a full tang. It makes sure that the blade does not detach from the handle.
And the butt end of the handles is curved downward so that your wet hand can’t slip from the knife.
Henckels Classic 6” Chef’s Knife can be cleaned in the dishwasher because it has a synthetic handle. It is just not recommended. Better wash them in warm water and dish soap right after using them. Wipe and dry thoroughly.
Henckels Classic knives are made out of high-quality stainless steel and synthetic POM. Obviously, they can put up with heavy use for a long time.
Durability has been made sure.
Also, they offer a warranty.
So if you receive a knife that has defects in materials and craftsmanship, you can send it back to Henckels, and they will repair it or send you a new one free of charge.
Just two words are enough to describe the design- ergonomic and elegant.
The distinct black handles and, glossy and silky steel blade matches just right.
Take a closer look at the handle. You will find the tang that expands and is exposed through the handle.
You can rest your pinky finger on the sharp curve at the butt end. It provides comfort as well as safety.
The blade of this chef’s knife is thicker at the spine and tapers down to the edge. The visible triple-riveted handle with bolster is much comfortable to use.
What We Liked Most:
- Sturdy and sharp
- Manoeuvrable and well-balanced
- Elegantly designed
- Triple-riveted handle
- Warranty available
- Within budget
- Dishwasher safe
What Could Be Better:
- Sharpness fades after a while
- Frequent sharpening is needed
5 Best Henckels Knives
Wüsthof vs Henckels- Which One Should You Buy?
Choosing a specific knife brand from these two is tough because both are best in their places. You have to choose by considering the features they provide and what you need.
If you are confused about which one to buy, jot down your preferences. Then compare between these two. Wüsthof vs Henckels- what are the differences?
Ø Wüsthof knives are precision-forged and very much durable.
On the other hand, the steel of Henckels blade contains high carbon content. This makes the blade sharp and light but a bit less durable.
Ø Wüsthof uses PEtec technology (proprietary technology of Wusthof) to ensure that Wusthof Classic knives have the top edge preservation in the market. The blade sharpness is long-lasting.
In contrast, Henckels does not use PEtec technology, which is why their knives need to be honed often.
Ø And most importantly, Wüsthof knives are quite expensive, while Henckels knives are well within your budget.
Ø Wüsthof has got 4.8 ratings on Amazon, whereas Henckels’ ratings are 4.6.
So if you don’t mind spending a few more bucks, go for Wüsthof knives. And if you really can’t afford, Henckels knives are top-rated as well.
The choice is yours.
Comparison chart – Wüsthof vs Henckels
|Blade Material||German Stainless Steel||German Stainless Steel|
|Handle||Exposed tang||Exposed tang|
|Edge||Fine edge||Fine edge|
|Sharpness durability||Long lasting||Becomes dull after a while|
|Honing needed||Not Frequently||Frequently|
FAQs of Wüsthof vs Henckels
This FAQ part is all about the questions and answers that always come to mind while using some of the best kitchen knives like wusthof or henckels. We’ve compiled the list of FAQs by deeply researching the customer from all over the country over the internet. You must be thriving to find out more? let’s wait no more, and jump into it!
Is Henckels A Good Chef’s Knife Brand?
Henckels has got a royal warrant of appointment as suppliers of knives to the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria-Hungary. World-renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay are known to have liked and used their products.
Why Wüsthof is A Popular Chef’s Knife Brand?
Their knives are
Sturdy and sharp
Also, the sharpness remains for a long time. And they offer a Limited lifetime warranty.
What Materials Are Used to Make a Wüsthof Knife?
They use Polyoxymethylene- a synthetic material, for the handles of their knives. So even after frequent contact to moisture and high temperatures, they will remain sturdy and usable.
Are J. A. Henckels Made in China?
So that’s all there is to know about Wüsthof vs Henckels. Knives are the most important tool when it comes to working in the kitchen. A good knife can make your life a lot easier. On the other hand, your kitchen work can become a complete disaster if your knives are not constructive to work properly.
If you are looking to buy a chef’s knife, first consider your priorities and budget. You can’t go wrong with any of the two brands. Read the comparison chart.
Compare the products and, your need and budget. Then decide which one you want to buy.