Global knives vs. Wusthof Classic Ikon
I have some of both lines and I really like both of them. It depends on whether you like the German style handles of the Ikon or the global handles. I have a 6 inch vegetable knife from Global that is like a razor blade and I use for tons of everyday tasks. The larger globals I find to be a little too light for me compared to the Ikon. My recommendation..get both.
-Hold a sharp edge longer
-Can take a more accute/sharper edge
-Harder to sharpen (due to abrasion-resistant steel and convex factory edge)
-Have been known (rarely) to break in two
-Straighter edge is better for push cutting and also effectively lengthens the knife, giving you more flat surface to work with and letting you cut larger/more things
-Can chip if dropped, used on glass/ceramics, or used to cut through bones
- Have metal handle that annoys some people as either slippery or uncomfortable. Said to be more hygienic, though I doubt there's any significant difference.
Wusthof Classic Ikon:
-Heavier, less nimble
-Not as sharp out of the box, and can't hold as acute/sharp an edge
-Easier to sharpen
-Curved edge makes it easier to rock chop
-Won't hold a sharp edge as long
-Most people find the handle comfortable
-More resistant to chipping (though you still shouldn't cut on glass/ceramic)
-Can cut through light bones with no major damage (expect some dulling if the knife is sharp)
-About 50% more expensive than globals from most vendors - asking too much for what it is if you ask me, since it doesn't really perform any better than a forschner (<$30 for a chefs knife)
-Looks nice (subjective obviously)
Both are dishwasher safe, though that's not the ideal way to wash either
Neither are among my top recommendations for knives, though if you especially like one or the other, go with it - they're both nice knives.
I have a Blackkwood Ikon paring knife. It is very attractive and it has a nice handle. It is easy to sharpen and it can take on a good edge. It is thick and heavy, so it is not ideal for what I consider as a paring knife.
I don't own a Global knife, but I read they are good. Ultimately, it depends what you are looking for. If you want a thinner, sharper and more precision knife, then Global is better. If you want a thicker, tougher and rock chopping knife, then Ikon is better.
There are other knives of course.
If this is a helpful bit of 2 cents.. I am a woman with small hands..
I have a Wusthof Ikon chefs knife.. I don't have the global but have handled them.
I like them both.
I found the curvature of the Ikon handle to be very comfortable for solid gripping.
The global I found to be a bit more nimble.
What I have in my kitchen is a mix of different iterations of Wusthof, Shun and Henckels. I find that I reach for the thicker german blades for heavier cutting, such as melons, chickens.. and such.. I feel like they wedge through and are more substantial for those tasks.
I reach for the Shun knives for slicing, mincing and finer work.. I really love them there.
If you could afford to get both.. I think you'd find uses for them both.
If not.. what are you planning to use it the most for.. and start off purchasing for the majority of your tasks.
You've got a LOT of good info here from the others as well.