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If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re already in the market sopping for a new professional knife but you’re not sure which brand you should settle for. Today, we’ll compare how two famous German knife brands compare by comparing a few of their bestselling models. In this Henckels vs Wusthof post, we’ll look at the differences between these two knives, their similarities and finally end up listing their most prominent pros and cons.
Henckels vs Wusthof; Quick summary
It’s a known fact that Wusthof and Henckels are among the leading professional knife brands. Looking at the quality of the knives they produce, it’s no surprise that these two German brands have been in business for over a century. They’ve sold millions of knives across their various product lines and all these customers couldn’t be wrong. Or could they?
How are these knives similar?
- They’re both German brands – Two centuries ago, both brands started making knives in Solingen. They slowly honed this knife-making craft over the years and the end product is the superior blades you’re enjoying today
- They both use high carbon steel when making knife blades. This grade of steel is preferred due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. The typical knife is cleaned three times a day on average and if it weren’t rust-proof it would corrode.
- Both brands include a bolster and a tang on their knives. A tang is the (often) visible part of the knife’s blade that extends to the handle. A bolster is a wide section on the knife where the handle and blade meet. The tang and bolster both add stability to the knife.
- Both knives should only be cleaned by handwashing. The manufacturers recommend doing this as dishwashing them would compromise on their lifespan.
How are they different
- Blade angle – With Wusthof knives, the blade is inclined at 14 degrees on both sides. Henckels, on the other hand, are inclined at 15 degrees. Technically speaking, Wusthofs are sharper but this 1-degree difference is barely noticeable. In fact, Shun blades have a 16-degree cutting blade and you’ll barely notice the difference.
- Resistance to chipping and general blade hardness. Wusthof knives’ blades are harder than Henckels’. Paradoxically, this is both a disadvantage and an advantage. It’s a selling point in that they stay sharper for longer but they are not as durable. Hard blades are susceptible to chipping and this is a sign that it’s time for a new knife.
- Comfort – A good kitchen knife’s handle should be designed with functionality and comfortability in mind. All knives manufactured by Henkel have a unique curve near the knife’s butt. This is where the pinkie finger rests when you’re chopping making the knife comfortable. This curve is effective at stopping your hand from slipping too. Wusthof knives have a comfortable anti-slip design too. They have a contoured handle that gives a comfortable grip.
Which Henckels knife set is the best?
This brand has several successful knives but their Forged Premio 18 set is their best seller UpToDate. With it being one of their larger knife sets, you’ll get two utility knives, a hollow knife and a paring knife. There’s a professional chef’s knife, a boning knife, and one bread knife in the pack too. Chances are you won’t need all the pieces in your daily routine unless you carry out complicated chopping tasks daily.
How good are JA Henckels knives?
For once, they’re comfortable and durable. When shopping for a kitchen knife, I usually go for one with a bolster and tang as they make the knife comfortable. Henckels knives are good as they stay sharp even when under intense chopping. They also have a contour on the handle (near the butt) ensuring that they won’t slip when cutting.
What are the best German knives?
This is purely based on personal preference. Henckels and Wusthof are both great German knives
How do you take care of German knives?
A great knife comes with a hefty price tag. Take good care of it and it will possibly outlive its usefulness. Even though German knives are naturally durable, dicing onions with a sharp one is a great experience. In fact, a blunt knife is dangerous. Here’s what you should do to ensure that you’re sparkling German knife doesn’t turn into a dull one.
Never soak your kitchen knife
The sink is the last place you should leave your knife. All bad things could happen. It may injure those w3ashing dishes, or it could get scratched Dry your knife as soon as you’re done washing it.
Never store your knife in the utensil drawer.
You shouldn’t mix your knives with other utensils in the kitchen drawer. They will scratch the knife’s blade and this is certainly not the best maintenance practise. If the drawer is the only place you could store that knife, get a kitchen sheath them. Just like a sword sheath, it will prevent your knife from getting scratched or being jostled around when you open the drawer.
Make a point of handwashing your knives.
Dishwashers are convenient and make life pleasurable but they do more harm than good to your kitchen knives. There’s a high chance that the blade will be dinged at a point in the dishwasher’s cycle and this is certainly bad for the knife’s lifespan.
Learn the art of sharpening a blade
This is an invaluable skill to possess. Hand sharpening is a noble skill that you could master. Use a honing steel or knife stone. There are many great videos on YouTube. Just like any skill, it will take time learning how to sharpen a knife but it will be well worth the effort.
Choose your chopping board wisely
All chopping boards aren’t created equal. A granite countertop isn’t an alternative to a chopping board either. Marble, granite and steel surfaces will be too hard on the knife’s blade. Stick to classic wooden boards and your knife will thank you.