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Old 05-09-2008, 05:02 PM   #1
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Wusthof vs Henckels

Which do you prefer and why?

They seem an obvious competition to each other, and im half tempted to buy some at some point.... I love japanese knives, though i feel for day to day use in the kitchens, and sharpening perhaps one of these would suit me better and be easier to use/maintain.

Im stuck between the two, so i need some help!

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Old 05-09-2008, 05:24 PM   #2
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I think comparable grades of either brand are pretty much equal. I have Henckels Professional S knives and really like them. I have not used Japanese knives so cannot compare them. The Henckels are a much better knife than the Chicago Cutlery set I had before.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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I know Wusthof blades are forged, but I was pretty sure that most Henckels knives were stamped.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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OK- a little clarification here: Henckels is actually one of two business divisions of the company. The brand generally known as Henckels is the value brand, which produces stamped knives. The brand generally known as Zwilling or Zwilling JA Henckels, produces their premium forged knives, probably more on par with your typical Wusthof knife. I do know that the value brand of Henckels won't hold a candle to Wusthof knives, simply because they are stamped while Wusthof is forged. However, I think as far as stamped knives go, Henckels is among the best if not the best stamped knife you can buy.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:00 AM   #5
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OK- a little clarification here: Henckels is actually one of two business divisions of the company. The brand generally known as Henckels is the value brand, which produces stamped knives. The brand generally known as Zwilling or Zwilling JA Henckels, produces their premium forged knives, probably more on par with your typical Wusthof knife. I do know that the value brand of Henckels won't hold a candle to Wusthof knives, simply because they are stamped while Wusthof is forged. However, I think as far as stamped knives go, Henckels is among the best if not the best stamped knife you can buy.

The premium lines of both company are forged; I think they're pretty comparable. I guess if I had to choose, the Wusthof CIA knives are probably my favorites. But I would almost always choose a Japanese brand over either.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:11 PM   #6
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Rob, would you agree that euro knives, such as the wusthofs are noticably easier to maintain, in particular sharpen (hone) on a steel?

I have found japanese knives comparably more effort to keep sharp, responding well to a diamond steel or stone, but nowhere near as easy to get a 'decent' edge by simply honing as i have seen a euro knife do.

Obviously i understand japanese knives are the best and will get a superior edge with a bit of effort and skill, but i need something that will handle a hard work out 4 days a week at work, that will be easy to hone to a decent edge without too much effort..... From what im thinking, a wusthof would probably suit quite well?
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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Rob, would you agree that euro knives, such as the wusthofs are noticably easier to maintain, in particular sharpen (hone) on a steel?

I have found japanese knives comparably more effort to keep sharp, responding well to a diamond steel or stone, but nowhere near as easy to get a 'decent' edge by simply honing as i have seen a euro knife do.

Obviously i understand japanese knives are the best and will get a superior edge with a bit of effort and skill, but i need something that will handle a hard work out 4 days a week at work, that will be easy to hone to a decent edge without too much effort..... From what im thinking, a wusthof would probably suit quite well?
Tough call. The Germans are easier to sharpen because the steel is much less hard than their Japanese counterparts. The other side of the coin is that the Japanese edges last longer than the Germans.

A sharp German knife (by comparison) goes through celery like a hot knife through butter where a sharp Japanese knife goes through the same like a knife through air. First of all they (J) can take and hold a shaper edge and more importantly they are much thinner thus much less friction.

Do you need that? Probably not. I do but I am spoiled.

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Old 05-10-2008, 11:26 PM   #8
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Not only are Japanese knives generally much harder, they're usually much thinner. They'll continue to outperform thicker Euro-style knives even when they're starting to dull.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:06 PM   #9
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Tough call. The Germans are easier to sharpen because the steel is much less hard than their Japanese counterparts. The other side of the coin is that the Japanese edges last longer than the Germans.

A sharp German knife (by comparison) goes through celery like a hot knife through butter where a sharp Japanese knife goes through the same like a knife through air. First of all they (J) can take and hold a shaper edge and more importantly they are much thinner thus much less friction.

Do you need that? Probably not. I do but I am spoiled.

Buzz
I feel the sturdyness of a euro knife would suit me best - 15 hour shifts in the kitchen takes its toll, so i think i need something 'easier' to maintain for optimum day to day use... Id love the very best jap knives, much like yourself, though i feel i couldnt look after them as well as i should given the amount of use they'd get... based on that and what you've said i think ill have a pop on the euro side (probably wusthof) and see how i get on.

Thanks for the input
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:18 PM   #10
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Yeah, Euro knives still have plenty of utility in the pro's kitchen. On Mutha's Day I opted to keep my Wusthof on the line instead of my Kanetsune; I figured things would be crazy and I wouldn't have time to keep an eye on it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:23 PM   #11
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I like both styles a lot, though I definitely prefer the heft of a french style knife. I find that it is preferable to use for everyday tasks, while some of the Japanese knives are superior for specific tasks. A co-worker let me use his favorite japanese blade (which he used as an all-purpose knife) for about a month because I was curious about how it felt to use. I will say that the grip was quite comfortable, though I did miss the heft, and it just didn't 'run' along the cutting board in quite the same way as a french knife does. The motions you use are slightly different... I have to admit though, the edge of my co-worker's knife was far sharper than I could ever hope to achieve on my Wusthofs, and I have nice Wusthofs too, Grand Prixs.

A good kitchen or cutlery retailer will let you test drive different blades. Find a good store and get what feels best to you, not what feels best or is preferred by everyone else. If you're a good cook, or are becoming a good cook, you know or will soon realize that your knife truly is an extension of yourself; its the tool you use to express your diligence and craftsmanship in your cooking.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:09 PM   #12
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Well i decided to splash out on a new knife today - i have a cooking demo in sheffield on sunday which invloves boning a duck, so i thought i'd treat myself!

Decided on the Wusthof & i went for their 14cm Boning knife from the ClassicIkon range...

When i first saw these i was put off by the handle design, but i must say - its incredibly comfortable, i was really suprised - id say his is the most comfortable knife i've used, it has a nice weight too.

The blades are thinner than on the classic range, making cutting easier. The bolsters on this range only goes half way down the blade, allowing you to sharpen the entire blade, which was always a downside to the wusthof classic knives.... and Gordon Ramsay uses them, so i couldnt resist lol

I got 25% off too bcause my friend works at the shop so thats a bonus - cost me 50 in total. Admitidly i could have got the Kasumi for about 3 extra, but im sad and a bit of a Ramsay nut so i couldnt resist (i know, i know....)

So yea, im happy..

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Old 06-20-2008, 01:48 PM   #13
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geebs, way when, ago, advised me best.

i got a wusthoff classic hollow blade santoku & love that knife. i went with what was comfortable. it's tang is beautiful. my other knives er $900 worth from cooking school, & i don't appreciate them like my wusthoff.
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:35 PM   #14
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I have Globals and a Wusthoff or two.

The globals definately hold their edge longer than the wusthoffs and always slice effortlessly through everything, but if i need a knife i can feel in my hand i reach for the wusthoff every time.

love them both, but i think it depends on what you are doing.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:28 PM   #15
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I pretty much agree with Jcas. After 40 years of Forschners, I recently spung for 5 Japanese laminated knives. They are sharper out of the box than I ever got the Forschners. However, after chopping 3 pounds of beef with the japanese, I appreciated the large handles on the Forschners. For me, the bottom line is, get the knives most comfortable to use. Most medium to high end knives will do a good job if kept sharp.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:37 AM   #16
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The 2 brands are largely equal, IMO.

The only Wusthof I can tolerate are the Grand Prix Series, and the only Henckel model I like is their Twin Cuisine line. I think the Wusthof is generally a better blade, but I prefer the heft of the Henckel. It sort of balances out in the end, IMO.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:09 PM   #17
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im a huge fan of wusthof, their the only knife i use, i have used other type but i have found none can compare. i alowaise keep 3 knives with me when i cook, i have my 3 inch paring knife, my 6 inch chef knife, and my 10 inch chef knife. i find that they can solve any problem, the spine on my 10 inch chef knife is thought enough to crack an oyster.

this is a picture of my knife. The spine is about 4 mm at the thickest point!
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:22 PM   #18
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I don't think there's much to recommend one of them over the other. Both are pretty comparable, quality wise- it comes down to personal preference, and how a given knife feels in your hand. I'll admit a slight preference for Henckels but both are fine. I prefer Japanese knives for almost everything anyway.
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