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Old 01-04-2008, 12:29 PM   #1
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Has anyone tried Gunter Wilhelm Knives?

I have a set of these and I just love them. I was wondering if anyone else have tried them? LINK REMOVED

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Old 01-04-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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Yes, I bought my set over a year ago, and I am extremely happy with them. They are very well made, they are attractive to display, and they've held a very sharp edge for over a year now. Once I got my Gunters, I gave my Henckles knives and block to a dear lady who had never really owned a good set of knives. Now we're BOTH happy!

My only regret was not getting the steak knives that go with the set, but, to me, steak knives are like the coffee cups that come with a set of dishes or the Double Old Fashioned glasses that come in a glassware set. After a few years or so, that's all that remains of your purchase and they just keep accumulating. Last time I moved, I donated a handful of steak knives, 3 sets of coffee cups and, I believe, 5 different styles of Double Old Fashioned glasses that no longer matched anything else in my house.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:51 AM   #3
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Has anyone tried Gunter Wilhelm Knives?

I just ordered my first Gunter Wilhelm Knife today. I bought the Santuko and am looking forward to seeing the quality! Right now, I use Lamsonsharp Silver (8 and 6" chef and steakknives) which I have had for over 12 years and my wife (She is the 'chef' in the family) loves them. Although she does not care for the 6" chef.

We want another QUALITY knife to add and we have been looking at many other lines: Wusthof, Messermeister,Shun, and looked (only on-line) at Misono.

Knives are confusing on which are the best.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:09 AM   #4
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I've been looking at Gunter Wilhelm as well as some of the other higher end brands too. Boy, does my brain hurt from all the choices.

isharpenit, could you share the reason(s) why you chose the GW over Shun and Misono?
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by isharpenit View Post
We want another QUALITY knife to add and we have been looking at many other lines: Wusthof, Messermeister,Shun, and looked (only on-line) at Misono.
A Misono is a very nice way to transition from Germanics to performance - stainless, double bevels, western handles. A good way to go.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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I've been looking at Gunter Wilhelm as well as some of the other higher end brands too. Boy, does my brain hurt from all the choices.

isharpenit, could you share the reason(s) why you chose the GW over Shun and Misono?

Wouldn't! Chinese vs Japanese. The GW's are made of relatively inferior 400 steel. Made in China. Cheap in manufacturing cost, low in quality.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:54 PM   #7
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I have one knife I've owned for 14 years. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It has never needed sharpening, and for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of it, but I purchased it at Wal-Mart, of all places! The handle is comfortable, the blade has over 300 serration points, and it will cut through anything.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:27 AM   #8
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A Misono is a very nice way to transition from Germanics to performance - stainless, double bevels, western handles. A good way to go.
That's good to know because Misono UX10 and Hattori FH are the two that I've narrowed down to.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:24 PM   #9
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Wouldn't! Chinese vs Japanese. The GW's are made of relatively inferior 400 steel. Made in China. Cheap in manufacturing cost, low in quality.
Where do you get your information? Gunter Wilhelm knives are forged IN GERMANY from 440 steel, and the blanks are then sent to the finishing plant in China for shaping, sharpening, hardening, and assembly.

I had top of the line Henckles before I bought my Gunters, and the Gunters are a far better product.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:13 PM   #10
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Where do you get your information? Gunter Wilhelm knives are forged IN GERMANY from 440 steel, and the blanks are then sent to the finishing plant in China for shaping, sharpening, hardening, and assembly.

I had top of the line Henckles before I bought my Gunters, and the Gunters are a far better product.
By low quality I was not referring to fit and finish. The GW knives are indeed beautiful. I do hope there isn't too much lead in the Chinese handle finish.... LOL. The steel from which the blades are made, however, is a totally different matter. GW site says "Gunter Wilhelm Knives are made from 440 steel (also known as X50CrMoV5) which is purchased in Solingen Germany." Therein lies the problem. There is 440A, 440B, 440C etc but I've never heard of 440.

This could rather long winded so I'm going to cut a few corners to get the basics out. I'm running a query on a site that has a few metallurgists and bladesmiths to try and ascertain just what variety 440 X50CrMoV5 is. I know what it isn't.

For starters, I will state that 440A is the bottom of the barrel as knife steels go. 440A contains from .65 to .75% carbon, whereas, 440C which is a very good blade steel contains .95 to 1.2% carbon. It doesn't sound like there is too much difference but it's a big deal.

I'm going to let someone else do the talking for awhile. His name is Chad Ward and he has a really good book about kitchen knives to be released in June I believe. The title is "An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives -- How to Buy Them, Keep Them Razor Sharp, and Use Them Like a Pro" and it can be preordered at Amazon. Chad wrote an excellent FAQ at eGullet and the following is an exerpt.

Section One: The Sad Truth About Kitchen Knives

To a chef, there is nothing more important than his knife. It is not only an extension of his hands, it is an extension of his very personality. The knife is a chef’s paintbrush.

So why are most kitchen knives so bad?

The knives found in most commercial and home kitchens are designed for the lowest common denominator. The manufacturers of these knives make a series of compromises calculated to keep the largest number of people happily using their knives for the longest period of time. Like supermarket tomatoes bred for sturdiness and uniformity rather than flavor, these compromises seriously degrade the performance of your knives.

The first compromise begins with the steel. Steel is the heart of the knife. Most manufacturers (Henckels, Wusthof, Forschner, et al.) have proprietary steel blends and are very close-mouthed about the actual formulation of their steels. According to industry insiders, these steel blends are closely related to or equivalent to a steel known as 440a. By and large 440a steel is formulated for stain and wear resistance rather than holding a high performance edge.

But this compromise in edge performance is compounded by a heat treatment that leaves the steel much softer than it could be. In general, the harder the steel, the keener the edge it will take. However, a hard steel makes it more difficult to get that edge in the first place. So manufacturers leave the steel a little soft, theoretically making sharpening at home easier. If you’ve ever spent an hour or two trying to get a super fine edge on a cheap kitchen knife, you’ll know that there is a big gap between theory and practice.

Upper-end kitchen knives like Henckels, Sabatier, Wusthof, et al., are a little better, but are still softer than they need to be at 52 to 56 on the Rockwell C scale (the
Rockwell scale is a scale used to measure the relative hardness of different solids). By contrast, Japanese knives tend to be around 61-62 on the Rockwell scale.

I did find a little information about the makeup of X50CrMoV5 here. The carbon content is only .48 to .53%. This tells me that GW is much more concerned about making a knife that shines like new but cuts like a hammer compared to the knives that I use.

But that's me. I'm a purist, a blade nut, a connoisseur, an aficionado. I want knives that cut like razors and some of mine do. I want performance before pretty.

More when I hear from the people who are steel experts on another forum.
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